October 2019 Edition

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14. 6 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Stan’s Article continued... what is unfolding in these days, the number who have had their eyes opened by the momentous event of Israel’s rebirth is in the millions. How very tragic, then, that so many of these very Christians – who do understand this to be the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and God’s keeping of His Word – insist on seeing this marvelous truth with only one eye, even as the other remains fixed on a man-made End Times scenario that completely misses the point! For far too many, Israel’s physical ingathering does NOT signify the end of the curses Moses warned of. On the contrary, thousands preach – and therefore lead masses of Christians to believe – that Israel’s physical rebirth portends yet more mass suffering and death for this people. Wretchedly, some of the most well-known and influential pro-Israel voices in the Evangelical world have declared that the Nazi-inflicted Holocaust will pale against what is yet to come. Yes, a myriad positive and affirming books, articles, sermons and lectures have been inspired by the multiple prophetic passages in the Bible speaking of God’s restoration of the scattered remnant of Israel to her land. And yet, many of these same books, articles, sermons and lectures assert that the “time of trouble for Jacob” (Jeremiah 30:7) is a period yet to come; that the remnant God is restoring is to be decimated yet again! As if Jacob has not already suffered enough! Surely no Christian knowledgeable of the Jews’ history through the centuries since AD 66 would so easily anticipate more mass-affliction for them? More to the point, a careful and contextually accurate reading of the only “trouble for Jacob” passage in the entire Bible – Jeremiah 30:4-11 – clearly conveys that this time of tribulation is experienced by “Jacob” (the Jews) while they are out of their land, and that they come from out of this time of travail (verse 4-7) back into their own land (verses 8-11). The egregious error postulating otherwise is founded on just one passage from Zechariah to which other Scriptures have been attached to ‘validate’ the delusion. To accept the error requires that we corrupt God’s Word; that into all the prophecies of restoration, including those I have referenced here, we insert a clause pronouncing the impending doom of most of the returned nation between the promise to “restore” and the promise to “keep safe”. Embracing this skewed eschatological expectation has potentially dire consequences for Israel and definitely dire consequences for the Church: It means that instead of PARTICIPATING in what God is doing in, with and for Israel, many pro-Israel Christians feel they can stand and OBSERVE it all, praying, yes, even applauding as the mood takes them. But this erroneous belief will render paltry and —when the crunch comes—ineffective, most Christian efforts to support and comfort the Jews. And this as Israel stands virtually alone in a world almost crazed with hatred for the people of God. If you, the reader, subscribe to this view, I wonder whether you really know what you have embraced? Ironically, the expectation of a yet-to-come “time of Jacob’s trouble” hinders the efforts of the very churches, organizations and Christian groups that claim to stand with Israel and who are trying to encourage many more to come alongside the Jewish people. For how can we, in good conscience, wholeheartedly encourage and help facilitate the Jews’ return, urging them to come back home for God’s blessing, when all the while we believe that millions who do will perish under God’s curse? Can it be that, as saved men and women, we somehow believe that God is ‘on our side’ while ‘unbelieving’ Jews – as much as we may ‘love’ them – merit punishment until they soften their stiff necks? This stance has infected the behavior of so many Christians towards the Jewish people through the centuries. It is fed by the heresy of Replacement Theology, which taught generations of Christians that that because “the Jews killed Christ” they are cursed to suffer displacement and persecution until they accept Him. Nothing could be further from the truth – His truth. And as Christians, we MUST hold to all of God’s Word. The Bible emphatically states that the Shepherd of Israel is restoring the Jews as a nation physically to their Land in order to restore them as a nation spiritually to life. He is their good Shepherd, and He is gathering them into the fold where, for the sake of His great name, He will assuredly keep them. ________________________________________________________ 1 The Jews have already experienced at least two genocides – the mass-slaughter of two thirds by Rome between AD 66 and 135 that began their national exile, and the mass slaughter of a third by the Nazis in 1939-1945 that preceded their national rebirth. 2 Today’s estimated 15 million Jews worldwide (nearly seven million in Israel) are just a vestige of what the nation’s size would have been had they not been exiled and persecuted for the last 2000 years. Had they remained in their land and multiplied and prospered through the centuries, the number of Jews would rival the number of Chinese. Instead, they were repeatedly hewn down, with the last and greatest loss being the six million exterminated by Hitler. Those who have returned to Israel – and those yet to return – are irrefutably a remnant. 3 The place of His habitation, however, still lies desolate; the place of His throne, the place where He has put His name is covered by a Herodian platform on which sits a gold-domed building whose walls proclaim that there is no god but Allah and that he has no son. Clearly there is more that needs to happen – a great deal more. Stan Goodenough is an Evangelical Christian (Gentile), a journalist and an Israeli-accredited tour guide. During the 30 years that Jerusalem has been his home, he has witnessed the unparalleled wonder of Israel’s ongoing restoration, and the growing global hostility and threat against her. www.jerusalemwatchman.org How can we, in good conscience, encourage and help the Jews return home if our expectation is that many millions of them are going to perish there under God’s curse?

18. 10 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Opinion Piece Zac Waller Executive Director – HaYovel Three thousand years ago, an old man with a long, tear-stained beard and rough, tattered clothes, made his way to a rise on a hillside not far from here. As he turned around to face the growing crowd, the look on his face turned from brokenhearted sorrow to rays of joy that pierced through the most hardened of souls. Israel had seen many ups and downs. Worshipping idols of wood and stone had fossilized the hearts of the people and left them empty, without a shred of hope. Could God forgive Israel in such a wretched state? Was there any hope of a future? The prophet’s eyes glistened. They were radiating with vision as he looked up into Heaven and then back down towards the people. Then he spoke with great emotion: “Thus says the Lord, God of Israel: I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you... Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel!... Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria. The planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit ... The people of Israel knew that grape vines planted on the mountains of Samaria was a sure sign of God’s favor and the coming redemption. Wine was an essential element of the service of the Temple. In order to fully turn from idolatry and worship the God of Israel, vines must be planted, grapes must be harvested, wine must be produced and that wine must be set aside for libation offerings. The following years of exile were endured with the hope that God’s presence would return to Israel. The first sign - branches shooting forth from these very mountains! It is therefore no coincidence that, a thousand years later, our Redeemer’s first act of redemption was turning water to wine! Many of Yeshua’s parables about the kingdom of God, were centered around the vineyard. One of particular significance to us as Christians is the parable where Yeshua speaks of the “Good Samaritan”, a non-Jew who uses wine and oil to bring healing to a wounded Jewish man. We are familiar with the covenant sealing imagery of taking “the cup”. Yeshua said He would not drink of the cup again until He drinks it with us in the kingdom. Yeshua took this commitment so seriously that even while he was dying on the cross, though it would have eased some of the excruciating pain and wet his parched mouth, he refused the wine that was offered to him. If He was that adamant about not partaking then, can we even imagine the joy on His face when we drink the cup with Him in the coming Kingdom? Wine will certainly be an important element of the final redemption! Not long after Yeshua’s death and resurrection, the Holy Temple was destroyed and Israel’s vines were taken into exile by Israel’s conquerors. It did not take long for Italy and nearby areas of Europe to become world-renowned for their wine quality and production. A hundred and fifty years after Yeshua, Rabbi Abba said: “There can be no more manifest sign of redemption than what is said by the prophet Ezekiel in chapter 36:8, ‘But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home ’”. Almost a thousand years later, another highly respected Jewish commentator known as Rashi, said “When Palestine becomes so very fertile, Messiah’s advent is near, and there can be no clearer sign than this.” A thousand years after that, on these very same mountains, a farmer from Tennessee was introduced to a vineyard owner from Har Bracha, Samaria, Israel. The once desolate mountains were shooting forth their branches as God’s chosen people returned to their ancient homeland. That same, vine-related, redemptive communication that Jeremiah, Yeshua and so many others have understood, shook my father, Tommy Waller, to the core. Soon hundreds of volunteer vinedressers from nations all around the globe were coming to see and participate in this great, heralding miracle. For some, it is difficult to find significance in something so simple. They say, “You are just picking grapes, right? What’s the big deal?”. A few rather unlikely sources have acknowledged the gravity of this perplexing phenomenon. The New York Times wrote “HaYovel is effectively obstructing the creation of a Palestinian State”. A lawyer from Texas stated “It is phenomenal that by this menial task HaYovel is shifting the balance of power in the Middle East!” There is certainly something supernaturally significant about this ostensibly neutral enterprise! I believe it is for this same redemptive reason that Almighty God has invited us to partner with the pioneering Jewish farmers of Judea and Samaria at this climactic time in history! Isaiah Prophesied that there would be a time when the nations of the world would come to Israel to worship God and to take part in the redemptive, agricultural restoration. These prophecies are being fulfilled today, right before our very eyes! Since 2004, over three thousand volunteers have come from thirty two different countries and harvested thousands of tons of prophetic produce. Thirty years ago there were no vineyards on the mountains of Samaria. In 2017, our volunteer teams picked almost five hundred tons of grapes! Through the menial, simple task of harvesting grapes on the mountains of Samaria, we have connected to the Bible. We have partnered with God, bringing glory and honor to His name by physically fulfilling 3,000 year old prophecies. We have connected to the people of Israel, giving much needed support to the valiant Jewish families that God has raised up and placed here as a sign for the world to see that His word is true and the time of redemption is here! Through this support, we have seen the depths of 2,000-year-old wounds begin to heal. We have forever connected to the heartland. Our hands have held the sacred clusters of grapes that the holy Prophets only dreamed about. Our faith has been made sight! We have connected to God’s supernatural plan of redemption in Zion. We have taken part in this miraculous process. May the Messiah come quickly to the rebuilt city of Jerusalem and may we all drink the cup of prophetic wine with Him there soon, in the coming Kingdom! ________________________________________________________ Zac Waller, Executive Director – HaYovel For more information on HaYovel contact Deon van Baalen on 0287 090 882 or deon@hayovel. com, or visit www.hayovel.com These prophecies are being fulfilled today, right before our very eyes! The Redemptive Significance of Israeli Vineyards and their Vinedressers

13. 5 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Stan’s article continued... This is not to say that Israel will no longer be targeted for destruction. Indeed she is being. However, nowhere in the Bible do we read that massive numbers of restored Jews will be killed; rather, we are told that Israel will spend months burying multitudes of the enemy who will come against her in her own land. The restoration of Israel is happening because God has arisen to have mercy on Zion – “the time to favour her, yes, the set time, has come”. (Psalm 102:13) All of these texts and promises (plus many more than those I have quoted here) are unambiguous. Their message is consistent and complete. Not a single one foretells an ingathering followed by a slaughter out of which only a remnant will emerge to be blessed. To the contrary, God in His Word assures the Jews, bloodied and bruised from unending wandering and persecution, that their return home itself for national rebirth signifies the wind-up of their “time of trouble”. It is a remnant—those few who survive—which returns home. It is NOT a remnant of those who return home which survives! 2 Through Moses long ago the Lord warned Israel that, as a consequence of their unfaithfulness to Him, their people would be mass-killed in their land; those who survived would be driven from their country and scattered abroad. (Deuteronomy 28:49-67) So it happened. The armies of Rome decimated them. Their land was laid waste, bereft of them; became desolate without them. (Isaiah 1:7) The Bible also tells us that as a consequence of God’s faithfulness to the Covenant He made with Himself concerning Israel (Genesis 15:7-21; Hebrews 6:13), and because of His vow concerning Israel’s perpetual national significance (Jeremiah 31:35-37), He would one day stretch out His hand “a second time” (Isaiah 11:11) (the first time was from Babylon; nowhere is it written that there will be a third time) and regather the people back to their land, physically reconstituting their national home and restoring their land to life. So it has happened, and it is happening. The Biblical dictum—that Israel’s scattering out of her land signifies being cursed, and her gathering back into her land signifies being blessed—was established at the start. Because of their continuing and worsening transgression, the nation’s going into captivity among the Gentiles would be the ultimate manifestation of the increasingly severe curses God would visit on Israel. (Leviticus 26:31-34) The people would have no place to rest their feet. They would be hated and persecuted wherever they went; efforts to render them extinct would intensify over time. And all the while, their land would lie unwanted, its once fertile fields barren, its forested hills denuded, deserts and swamps taking over as the place was left to “enjoy its Sabbaths”. (Leviticus 26:27-35; Deuteronomy 28:58-67) God would turn His face away from His people, in fact He would “hide” His face from them (Deuteronomy 31:17) and stop up His ears so as not to hear their prayers (Jeremiah 11:14; Ezekiel 8:18). They would be exiled from their land and be placed in the hands of their enemies. These curses would be manifest because of their sin. And they were. (Ezekiel 39:23-24) Two thousand years ago, the people of Israel were already in the shadow of God’s judgment and disfavor. It grew worse. Darkness covered the land, all the terrible things they had been warned about began to come upon them, destruction and desolation came to the Holy Place of the Most High, and those who were not slaughtered went into captivity. HOWEVER, because of the Lord’s grace and enduring mercy, and because He is tied to His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Israel, (Leviticus 26:42) God, who knows the end from the beginning, established a future time when He would turn back His face; when His heart would churn within Him and His sympathy would be stirred; when instead of executing the fierceness of His anger, He would with compassion turn His face back to Zion; the light of His countenance and blessing would rise to shine once again over His nation and over His land (Isaiah 60). When that time came, blessing would return to Israel, the most vivid and unmistakable sign of which would be the nation’s re-gathering from the four corners of the earth into the land God has given them – in readiness for their reunion with Him. And He would preserve them in this land “like a shepherd keeps his sheep,” come what may. This, He has said —repeatedly and emphatically—is what He will do. And it is this thing that He is doing in our day. Against all odds He has brought back the Jews and He continues to bring them back, for He is resolved to forgive, cleanse, and restore Israel to life. (Deuteronomy 30:1-6) In 1882 God stretched forth His hand and began to regather them. A trickle became a flood, hundreds then thousands then hundreds of thousands and ultimately more than a million Jewish people at a time returned to their ancestral home. The people came back to the land and the land came back to the people, first small parcels, then large swathes, thousands of hectares, then half the land and half of Jerusalem, and ultimately most of the rest of the land and most of the rest of Jerusalem. 3 Their return has been opposed with fury. Israel’s gestation (1882-1947) was marked with intensifying violence and the cataclysmic horror of the Holocaust. Her rebirth (1948) happened in the fires of war. Her existence since then (1948-2014) has seen a war fought every decade or less, with virtually uninterrupted terrorism hammering at her in between. Today she faces the burgeoning existential threat of a nuclear-weapons-pursuing Iran. But in all these wars, Israel has not been vanquished; she has miraculously overcome, against insuperable odds. While suffering casualties and facing near defeats, the nation has come nowhere close to being annihilated, nor will she ever be. Again, God is determined to KEEP her as a shepherd keeps his sheep. He is doing this for the sake of His holy name. (Ezekiel 36:22) The physical return of the Jewish people to their land, and the physical restoration of the land of Israel to the Jewish people, is destined to be followed by the nation’s return to her God. (Ezekiel 36:24-28) Surely this is very, very good news! The passage quoted above exhorts us to “sing with gladness,” because of what we see and hear God doing with Israel (We are certainly NOT exhorted to sound dire warnings of impending destruction of two thirds of the nation!) We are to shout aloud to the nations to take note of the wonder of the Lord’s unfolding purposes for His ancient people. It heralds, after all, the most wonderful thing. For as Paul says, if Israel’s rejection led to the reconciling of mankind to God, what will Israel’s acceptance bring about but life from the dead for the world! And indeed! Christians the world over were electrified – many having their faith thrillingly recharged – when the physical reconstitution of the Jewish people that began in the late 1800s climaxed with the coming to independence of the nation- state in 1948. Israel’s miraculous victories in successive wars added faith to faith. The Lord, these Christians understood, really had said in His Word what He meant to do. And He really did mean to do what He had said. He did! And He is! While it is by no means most of the world’s professing Christians who understand New Olim returning home in Israel at ben Gurion Airport as a result of ‘Aliyah - Bring the Jews Home’ - a fulfillment of Prophecy! Photo Credit: Jewish Agency for Israel Hitler saluting in Germany, in the background is a cathedral. Photo Credit: www.yadvashem.org Not one of these prophecies of Israel’s restoration foretells an ingathering followed by a slaughter

4. 16 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 News 4 Boris’ Pro-Israel Cabinet Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with British Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson, in London, England. | Photo: Flash90 James Patrick n Author | Theologian | Speaker The British Parliament is going through its most tumultuous period in centuries, and no one can predict what the future will be for Boris Johnson or for the current Conservative government he leads. But whatever happens with Brexit, the UK remains an important player in the international scene. The UK is a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council. Together with the US, France, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan, it is a member of the Group of Seven (G7). For the time being, Boris’ government is in charge of developing and implementing UK foreign policy, including relations with Israel and its neighbours, as illustrated in Netanyahu’s surprise visit to London to meet Boris on 5 September 2019. A Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn would take a radically different position to Boris and his government on the question of Israel and the Palestinians. Boris Johnson has appointed one of the most pro-Israel cabinets of recent times. The four highest ministerial positions in the UK government, the so-called Great Offices of State, are now all held by vocal and unapologetic supporters of Israel, who have weathered public opposition to their convictions. Boris Johnson, Prime Minister Boris prizes his own Jewish heritage; his maternal great- grandfather having been a Russian Jewish immigrant descended from a Lithuanian rabbi. He says he first spoke in favour of the state of Israel around the age of 18, and in summer 1984 he volunteered with his sister Rachel at kibbutz Kfar Hanassi in Galilee. Being a budding journalist, he also interviewed Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek. In November 2015 while Mayor of London, he led the first- ever Londo n-Israel trade mission, but made headlines when Palestinians cancelled meetings with him for outspokenly opposing BDS as ‘foolish” and dismissing proponents of a recent academic boycott of Israel as irrelevant “corduroy- jacketed, snaggle-toothed, lefty academics”. In 2017, as Foreign Secretary, he was instrumental in the Balfour Declaration centennial celebrations, and wrote an associated Telegraph article setting out a classic British version of the two-state solution. He then oversaw the first-ever official Royal visit to Israel, by Prince William in June 2018, which was deliberately timed to mark the centenary year of the Balfour Declaration. That same month, he committed the UK to opposing all anti- Israel resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council under its infamous Item 7 that singles out Israel, calling it “disproportionate and damaging”. In a July 2019 interview with Jewish News, he said that he “could see the logic” in moving the British Embassy to Jerusalem but believed “the moment for us to play that card is when we make further progress”. He promised that “wild horses wouldn’t keep me away” from becoming the latest PM to visit Israel, a “great country” that “I love” and has described himself as a “passionate Zionist”. Dominic Raab, Foreign Minister & First Secretary of State (de facto Deputy PM) Dom Raab was raised in the Church of England due to his mother’s faith but emphasised in a Tory Party conference speech in 2018 his pride in his Jewish ancestry. His father, who died when Dom was 12, came to Britain as a Jewish, Czech six-year-old on the Kindertransport during World War Two. Dom studied international law at Oxford and Cambridge, and witnessed Palestinian anti-Semitism first-hand while studying at Birzeit University near Ramallah during the summer of 1998 and working for one of the lead Palestinian Oslo negotiators assessing West Bank projects for the World Bank. As a Foreign & Commonwealth Office legal adviser from 2000 to 2006, he spent four years working on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among other matters. He has supported a two-state solution and criticised Israeli settlement expansion, but defends the blockade of Gaza as entirely legitimate. In a 2011 article for The Times, he rejected calls to recognise a Palestinian state, arguing that “Peace requires political leadership, not a legal mirage”. Raab is likely to delegate Israel-Palestinian issues to the Middle East Minister, currently Andrew Murrison since May 2019. Back in 2015, Murrison said, “I back a two state solution on ’67 borders and hope that this will be achieved soon so that the international community can recognise Palestine and Israel. I deplore Israel’s action and have said so in the House if you want to look it up but it must be able to defend its civilians against Hamas inspired terrorism.” Sajid Javid, Chancellor As a non-practising Muslim, Sajid Javid has supported the Jewish State since he was a boy. He traces this back to his brother’s school trip to Israel around 1978, when their Pakistani immigrant father explained to them Israel’s history and special place, making him want to visit. Two decades later, he and his church-going Christian wif e, Laura, chose Israel as their honeymoon destination. At Exeter University, he became close friends with fellow Conservative Association leader Robert Halfon, who was an activist in the Union of Jewish Students. Halfon went on to become political director of Conservative Friends of Israel, and now, as a senior Tory backbench MP, is a vocal supporter of Israel in Parliament. In December 2012, just two years after they became MPs, Sajid boldly told the CFI annual lunch that, while proud of his British Muslim heritage, Israel was the only Middle Eastern country he would consider living in. While serving as Business Secretary (2015–16), Sajid stood up to regular calls to back BDS by boosting trade with Israel. Then in February 2017 as Communities Secretary, he promoted the IHRA definition to local councils around the UK. Becoming Home Secretary in 2018, he proscribed Hezbollah in its entirety in February 2019, and in July he became the first UK minister to visit Israel and Western Wall for almost twenty years. Priti Patel, Home Secretary Born in London to Ugandan-Indian parents, Priti Patel is a former vice-chair of Conservative Friends of Israel, praised by fellow MP Theresa Villiers as one of Israel’s staunchest friends in Parliament. Soon after being appointed International Development Secretary, she responded to reports that the Department for International Development (DfID) money was being used to pay convicted Palestinian terrorists and their families. In October 2016, she ordered a review of the funding procedure and temporarily froze around one- third of Britain’s aid to the Palestinians. The review resulted in DfID announcing significant changes to future funding for the Palestinian Authority. In November 2017, she left Theresa May’s government under a cloud, after a holiday in Israel during which she held several undisclosed meetings with Israeli ministers including Netanyahu, and with IDF commanders in the Golan Heights. On her return from holiday, she had urged the Government to give some of its aid budget to the Israeli army, noting how the IDF was helping victims of the Syrian war in the Golan Heights. October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780

8. 20 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 C4I Happenings 8 Rev Cornelis Kant n Executive Director | Christians for Israel International An answer to prayers! That’s what you might call my visit to Rwanda. Two sisters from a Christian women’s congregation have been praying for years that the message about Israel could be spread into the churches in the African country Rwanda. This country has been suffering tremendously following the tragic genocide in 1994 that cost over a million lives. Suddenly we received an invitation to speak about Israel at the annual gathering of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda. This gathering is an annual four-day event, attended by over 3000 church members, 140 church pastors and 80 evangelists. A wonderful opportunity to reach so many Christians with the message about God’s everlasting faithfulness to Israel and the Jewish people. “I am so happy with this good message about Israel. That’s what we need to hear in our church and in our country”, the President of the Presbyterian Church, Rev Dr Pascal Bataringaya told the audience afterwards. The Rwandese Christians were eager to learn how to put their relationship with Israel into practice. Some pastors were a little reluctant at first out of fear of a new form of idolatry, because they see some of their countrymen going to Israel and coming back from Israel with anointing oil, water, and sand from the Holy Land, and scattering it over their fields in the hope of a blessed harvest. I thanked them for expressing this reticence because it gave me the opportunity to explain that this is not what we stand for. We do not bless Israel from a prosperity perspective to be blessed ourselves. We want to bless Israel because God loves Israel and keeps His promises and covenants. They were also eager to learn about similarities and differences between the Holocaust genocide of the Jews in Nazi Germany and the Rwandese genocide of the Tutsi tribe in 1994. Hate propaganda, instigated by the government, played an important role in both tragedies. I told them how dangerous the current negative and often untrue propaganda against Israel is in our time. During these four days many new pastors were ordained, and we enjoyed wonderful African music. We spoke about building up a new partnership between the Church and Christians for Israel International so many church members may be inspired and encouraged by information and Bible studies about Israel. Let us pray for these new future developments in Rwanda. Rwanda Keen to Learn about Israel New pastors being ordained at a worship service during a national conference of the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda, attended by over 3000 people. October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Chan Siew Fong n Regional Trainer | Christians for Israel Asia The second ‘Train the Trainers’ Christians for Israel Asia- Pacific Training and Leadership Conference in Indonesia kicked off in Surabaya on Thursday 19 September in a local restaurant with 75 pastors eager to learn about Israel. All of them received an Indonesian copy of the Why Israel? study guide cum workbook; some of them were seen poring over the pages even during break time. Team members’ interactions with some participants revealed concerns about whether a new doctrine or denominational position was being advocated. Reverend Cornelis Kant soon put these concerns to rest, teaching on Replacement Theology, anti-Semitism and Theses I, II, V and IX of “The Twelve Theses of Faith on Israel”, followed by Reverend Dr Conrado Lumahan’s nine of twelve reasons for standing with Israel. The ‘Train the Trainers’ segment, to equip pastors to cascade teaching on Israel to their congregations using the workbook, was conducted by Christians for Israel Asia Regional Trainers, Chan Siew Fong (chapters 1 to 5) on Day 1 and Chan Kuen Yoon (chapters 6 to 10) on Day 2. The most gratifying part of the conference was the Q- and-A session at the end of Day 2. Questions like how churches worldwide could be brought together to declare their repudiation of Replacement Theology evidenced the paradigm shift the team had worked to achieve. However, a question about the extent to which the return of the Jewish diaspora to the Middle East had contributed to the conflict there suggested a need to incorporate, even in brief, the history of the rebirth of Israel in 1948 in future training programmes. At the end of the conference, every participant was presented with a certificate of appreciation. The power-packed organising team behind this conference consisted of Pdt. Dr M Ferry H Kakiay (Deputy Bishop of Gereja Bethel Indonesia), Pdt. Brigjen Harsanto Adi, M.Th (President of Indonesian Pastors’ Association), Pastor Henoch Budiyanto, Hizki Laluyan and Christians for Israel Asia Director, Reverend Dr Wilson Ng working in concert with the ever-cheerful Pastor Petrus Soebyantoro, the local, on-the-ground coordinator and his amiable line-up of pastors, worship team, ushers and support crew. Paradigm Shift on Understanding About Israel A participant asking a question at the second ‘Train the Trainers’ Christians for Israel Asia-Pacific Training and Leadership Conference in Indonesia “I am so happy with this good message about Israel. That’s what we need to hear in our church and in our country”

5. 17 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Israel News 5 Mandy Worby n Christians for Israel Australia Did you know that Australia and New Zealand respectively, lead the world in skin cancer? According to the 2018 statistics compiled by the World Cancer 1 Research Fund (WCRF) , the top 10 nations for the highest rates of melanoma are: 1. Australia 6. Sweden 2. New Zealand 7. Germany 3. Norway 8. Switzerland 4. Denmark 9. Belgium 5. Netherlands 10. Slovenia Skin cancer is deadly, and it affects people all over the world, but Israeli scientists may be very close to helping combat this disease in the most convenient of ways. Scientists at Tel Aviv University (TAU) appear to have developed a nano-vaccine for prevention of melanoma, one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer, and this nano-vaccine has been quite effective in mouse models. Professor Satchi-Fainaro, one of the researchers of the project said, “The war against cancer in general, and melanoma in particular, has advanced over the years through a variety of treatment modalities, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy; but the vaccine approach, which has proven so effective against various viral diseases, has not materialised yet against cancer. In our study, we have shown that it is possible to produce an effective nano- vaccine against melanoma and to sensitise the immune system to immunotherapies.” The process of developing this nano-vaccine required tiny particles made of a biodegradable polymer that they packed with two peptides, which are short chains of amino acids, found in melanoma cells. These particles were then injected into mouse models with melanoma and according to Professor Satchi-Fainaro, these particles, “...acted just like known vaccines for viral-born diseases. They stimulate d the immune system of the mice, and the immune cells learned to identify and attack cells containing the two peptides – that is, the melanoma cells.” The researchers are very excited about this development, because if skin cancer can be treated and even prevented through the development of nano-vaccines, perhaps such treatments can be developed to treat other forms of cancer as well. Professor Satch-Fainaro went on to say that the research, “...opens the door to a completely new approach – the vaccine approach – for effective treatment of melanoma, even in the most advanced stages of the disease. We believe that our platform may also be suitable for other types of cancer and that our work is a solid foundation for the development of other cancer nano-vaccines.” This is yet another example of Israel blessing the world. Genesis 12:3 1 https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/cancer-trends/skin-cancer-statistics Israel Blessing Families Worldwide | Photo: Shutterstock October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Bryce Turner n Executive Director | Christians for Israel New Zealand Mr Nitai Eliash, CEO of the Israeli Alzheimer’s Medical Centre in Tel Aviv, recently travelled ‘to the ends of the earth’, visiting supporters in Auckland, New Zealand. Nitai was invited to address an audience of Christians for Israel supporters in New Zealand, where he passionately described the amazing vision which the Centre is implementing. In true Israeli spirit, the centre is planning to offer its specialist Alzheimer’s knowledge to countries around the world. Friends in NZ needing assistance and counselling will be able to communicate with specialists at the Centre through its call centre service by phone, email, Whatsapp or Skype, 24/7. Christians for Israel New Zealand, together with members of the New Zealand Jewish community, are partnering with the Israel Alzheimer’s Medical Centre to raise funds for medical equipment desperately needed at the Centre. The Sophie & Abram Stuchynski Israel Alzheimer’s Medical Centre opened in 2001. A nonprofit organisation, it is the only one of its kind in Israel specialising exclusively in providing services to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases. There are currently around 200 inpatients living in five wards. Every year hundreds more patients and their families are supported on an outpatient basis. The centre also trains professionals and engages in collaborative research with renowned academic institutions. The Alzheimer’s Medical Centre offers other services for patients who live within the community such as a 24/7 call centre, a daycare centre and special home services to elderly. The call centre provides advice, information and tools for the diagnosis and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and associated behavioural and communication difficulties, delivering immediate support and guidance for family members of patients with Alzheimer’s. For communities around the world, the call centre is now available in English, Hebrew and Spanish. The daycare centre offers Alzheimer’s outpatients who live in the community opportunities to socialise and participate in activities. This is a unique facility in Israel, rare in the entire world, and it is open 24/7. In Israel, special home services include the assessment and adaptation of the home environment to suit the circumstances of the patient, assessment of agitation, insomnia and other behavioural issues, involvement in- home care, and provision of pharmacological and non- pharmacological solutions. Besides the ongoing work, the team believes it is extremely important to promote knowledge and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, regularly holding lectures from experts from all fields, and hosting delegations of professionals from around the world who come to observe the unique treatment model. In addition, the centre manages a ‘technology incubator’ aimed at developing innovative technologies such as electronic sensors, brain games, robots, fall detectors and pressure gauges that can improve the safety, security and quality of life of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. There are approximately 180 staff members, including a multidisciplinary team that specialises in Geriatrics. Treatment plans utilise all the various therapeutic frameworks – medical, nursing, occupati onal, and social disciplines – to provide a comprehensive treatment solution and give residents and their families, quality of life. Israel Alzheimer’s Medical Centre | Photo: Israel Alzheimer’s Medical Centre Nitai Eliash

21. 21 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Analysis 9 Marie-Louise Weissenböck n Christians for Israel Austria Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, were barred from visiting Israel in mid-August. PM Netanyahu had initially signalled that the two Democrats could visit despite their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which Israel has outlawed. When it became clear that Netanyahu reversed his decision at President Trump’s urging, the situation appeared to go from bad to worse. Then facts and history had their say. Both Congresswomen had rejected invitations to travel with other congressional members of both Republican and Democratic parties. Trips had been organised by AIPAC to brief new members on security issues and to include political perspectives as from the government as well as critics. The congressional groups met with Israeli leaders and Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. In addition to wanting to go alone, Talib and Omar reportedly refused any government briefings and Netanyahu said their itinerary mentioned only ‘Palestine,’ a country that doesn’t exist and a word often used to deny Israel’s right to exist. PM Benjamin Netanyahu further remarked: “No country in the world respects America and the American Congress more than the State of Israel. As a free and vibrant democracy, Israel is open to critics and criticism, with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for and work to impose boycotts on Israel, as do other democracies that prohibit the entry of people who seek to harm the country. Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress.” Their itinerary for their visit to Israel revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective was to strengthen the boycott against Israel and deny Israel’s legitimacy. US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman responded: “The United States supports and respects the decision of the Government of Israel to deny entry to the Tlaib/Omar Delegation. The (BDS) movement against Israel is not free speech. Rather, it is no less than economic warfare designed to delegitimise and ultimately destroy the Jewish State.” When Israel announced that it would deny entry to Reps, Omar and Tlaib, the decision struck many as an unprecedented step. However, this measure has taken place before, when Israel’s political enemies have attempted to enter the gates. Tlaib and Omar were not going in good faith. They hate Israel and have made anti-Semitic statements. Moreov er, the BDS movement they support is not ultimately about borders. It’s about Israel’s existence. Israel Bans BDS-Advocates US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, both Democrats, during a news conference in Washington, 15 July 2019. | Photo: AP Images ...it is no less than economi c warfare designed to delegitimise and ultimately destroy the Jewish State. October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Soon the state media was saturated with anti-Zionist propaganda, depicting bloated, hook-nosed Jewish bankers and all-consuming serpents embossed with the Star of David. Anti-Zionism had become virtually indistinguishable from anti-Semitism. As the British political theorist, Alan Johnson, observed, “what ‘the Jew’ once was in older anti- Semitism – uniquely malevolent, full of blood lust, all- controlling, the hidden hand, tricksy, always acting in bad faith, the obstacle to a better, purer, more spiritual world, uniquely deserving of punishment, and so on – the Jewish state now is...” In time, these depictions appeared not only in Soviet publications but were distributed globally through communist parties and publications throughout the world. These ideas would eventually nestle in far-left circles in the West, including political parties, human rights organisations, militant trade unions, and of course, campuses. The propaganda was highly compelling and steeped in long-established themes of Jewish bloodthirstiness, greed, corruption, manipulation and cunning. It would contend that the very existence of a Jewish homeland was not only a plot of imperialism but a mortal danger to the peace of the world. It was what Hitler called the ‘big lie’ – the use of dramatically overblown fiction to deceive the public. Hitler, the supreme propagandist, observed that the bigger the lie, the more believable it was: “It would never come into people’s heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously...” The big lies about Zionism would soon find their way into the most influential forums in the world. When a sub- commission of the United Nations was tasked with drafting a convention on the ‘elimination of all forms of racial discrimi nation,’ the proceedings naturally focused on apartheid, neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism. But the Soviets viewed the reference to anti-Semitism as a direct rebuke to their anti-Jewish measures and served up an amendment that ‘was almost a joke,’ even to the Soviet delegation itself. The amendment inserted Zionism into the listed forms of racism. According to sources close to the deliberations, the Soviets understood “full well that the idea that Zionism is racism is an indefensible position,” yet they floated it anyway, in part to turn the US-led initiative into farce, and in part perhaps, to see how far a ‘big lie,’ could go. Ultimately, the Convention was adopted with neither anti-Semitism nor Zionism referred to – the ploy had worked. But the seed had been planted. On 10 November 1975, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed resolution 3379 on the ‘elimination of all forms of racial discrimination,’ which determined that ‘Zionism is a form of racism and discrimination.’ The US Ambassador to the United Nations Patrick Moynihan called the resolution “a great evil ...” that had given “the abomination of anti-Semitism the appearance of international sanction.” The proposition that the Jewish emancipation movement was actually a form of racism, now declared to be true by the United Nations, could then be used to purge mainstream Jewish voices from liberal campaigns and civil society organisations. In 1977, student unions across Britain debated motions along the lines of Resolution 3379. York, Salford, Warwick and Lancaster went further, passing motions to expel their Jewish societies “on the grounds that they are Zionist and therefore racist.” The concept of denying platforms to fascist and white supremacist speakers on university campuses was now being applied to stifle mainstream voices who expressed support for the state of Israel. Moynihan foresaw this. An earlier UN resolution had, at the instigation of the Soviet Union, viewed “racism to be merely a form of Nazism.” It followed that if racism was merely a form of Nazism and Zionism is a form of racism, then Zionism is a form of Nazism. On this basis, anti-Zionist students could harass Zionists and be seen as taking a noble stand against Nazism. This twisted logic was applied by anti-Israel students at Sydney University in 2015 when they attempted to stop the public lecture of a retired British colonel for his earlier statements in support of Israel, and by the organisers of the Chicago Dyke March who blocked Jewish participants from marching with Stars of David on the basis that Zionism was a form of ‘white supremacism.’ The theme of Jews becoming the new Nazis, a double blow that associates Zionism with supreme evil and mocks the victims of the Holocaust by equating them with their murderers, has become a mainstay of anti-Zionist discourse. In a conflict as deep-seated and volatile as this, it may seem a trifling pursuit to seek to restore accurate meaning to terminology. But there can be no hope for peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians so long as the movement on which Israel was established seven decades ago, the movement that expresses Jewish hopes and Jewish rights, is so poorly understood and so successfully distorted. Alex Ryvchin is the co-chief executive officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. He is author of The Anti-Israel Agenda (Gefen Publishing House, 2017). His new book is Zionism – The Concise History. Originally published by the Australian Institute of International Affairs. Reproduced with permission. Red Terror - Continued from page 3

24. 24 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Israel & the Palestinians 12 Israel’s Story in Maps Map 8 | Judea & Samaria n A tall mountain range controlling the narrow, low plains of Tel Aviv The State of Israel has been in control of Judea and Samaria for over 50 years - almost the same time as the British and the Jordanians combined. Israel’s leaving the Gaza Strip led to massive rocket fire on Ashdod and Be'er Sheva. The mountain range of Judea and Samaria reaches a height of 1,050 meters and dominates Israel’s population center from Be'er Sheva and Ashkelon in the South to Netanya and Afula in the North. Map 9 | A Cross Section n A tall mountain range controlling the narrow, low plains of Tel Aviv The height of the Coastal Plain from the sea to the Green Line rises from 0 to 100 meters above sea level. The height of the area of Judea and Samaria is between 100 and 1,050 meters above sea level, and control of the area means full topographic control of the region. It takes only three minutes to fly from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Control of the mountain range allows the defense of Israel’s eastern border. Beyond that border lie Jordan, Iran and Iraq, with considerable political and security instability and risk. The mountain range in Judea and Samaria allows for protection against aerial or other invasion from the east. Be’er Sheva David Parsons n Vice President & Senior Spokesman | International Christian Embassy Jerusalem | www.icej.org When Linda Sarsour tweeted recently that Jesus was a Palestinian, some might have thought it was an innocent mistake. But given that this same canard has stirred similar backlashes over recent months thanks to US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and others, chances are Sarsour knew just how mischievous her actions were. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, certainly thought so. Indeed, there is nothing innocent about the ‘Palestinian Jesus.’ It has ignoble origins, mean-spirited motivations and fraudulent ends. The fabrication of a Palestinian Jesus has been a core part of the lexicon of Palestinian nationalism since at least the 1960s, as evidenced by news archive photos of a press conference held by PLO chief Yasser Arafat in Amman in June 1970. Over his shoulder hangs a poster of a gaunt, near-naked Palestinian nailed to a Star of David. The message is clear: the Palestinians are suffering at the hands of the Jews, just like Jesus did. The Palestinians borrowed this hateful equation from several unseemly sources. First, it dra ws on classic Christian antisemitic motifs imported from Europe to the Middle East in modern times by church clerics and others. Islam has its own embedded antisemitic slurs, but the first blood libel against the Jews in the region came courtesy of Italian clergymen serving in Damascus in 1840. Even among British Mandate authorities stationed in Jerusalem in the 1930s, it was a commonly heard refrain that “the Jews killed Jesus... and they would do it again.” Nazi propagandists also exported their antisemitic imagery and ideology into the Middle East, both before the war and afterwards, when many received refuge in Cairo and Damascus. Some of the vilest antisemitic Nazi cartoons, especially those utilising the symbol of the cross, have been copied like stencils by Arab cartoonists for decades. The Palestinian Jesus is also modelled on the Nazi fiction of an Aryan Jesus: that the pure, noble Christ could never have sprung from the corrupt, evil Jews, but rather was of Roman or Germanic ancestry. A third source is the liberation theology that flourished in Latin America in the last century. As Marxist elements started stirring revolutions throughout the region, many local Catholic priests began supporting the cause by portraying Christ as a revolutionary who fought Roman oppression. Although the Vatican would eventually warn that their scriptures were being wrongly used to justify violence against oppressors, the tenets of liberation theology were readily adopted by radical black activists in the US (e.g., Rev. Jeremiah Wright), the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa (Bishop Desmond Tutu), and by the Palestinian nationalist camp. Finally, Islamic culture has always had a penchant for openly tampering with the historical figure of Jesus. As Jerusalem Post op-ed editor Seth J. Fran tzman rightly noted earlier this week, Islam acknowledges the links between Jesus and the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as the lawgiver Moses, kings David and Solomon, and even the tribes of Israel. But Islam also completely warps his identity in many other ways that are irreconcilable with the Bible, especially the New Testament. For instance, the Jesus of the Koran was born to Mary, but she just happens to also be Miriam, the sister of Moses. He is considered a Muslim prophet, but his claim to be the Son of God is flatly denied. In addition, the Muslim Jesus was never really crucified but ascended to heaven from where he will return one day to eradicate Christianity and proclaim Islam as the true religion. Thus, we find in the Palestinian Jesus a toxic melding of a Marxist guerrilla and Aryan hero, along with heavy doses of Christian and Islamic anti-Semitism and supersessionism. The result has been a morbid competition among Palestinian leaders and elites as to who can come up with the sharpest quip, the cleverest analogy, the most creative metaphor equating the contemporary Palestinian plight with the sufferings of Christ. At a news conference at the United Nations in 1983, Arafat called Jesus “the first Palestinian fedayee [militiaman] who carried his sword.” When Arafat triumphantly took control of Bethlehem on December 1995, he told a throng gathered in Manger Square that he was there to liberate “the birthplace of our Lord the Messiah... the city of the Palestinian Jesus!” During a visit to the Vatican a few years later, Arafat even greeted Pope John Paul II as “the successor of Peter, the first Palestinian pope.” Arafat’s successor, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has described Jesus as “a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace.” Prominent PA official Saeb Erekat has referred to Jesus as the ‘first Palestinian shahid [martyr].’ His colleague Jibril Rajoub once exclaimed: “The greatest Palestinian in history since Jesus is Yasser Arafat.” But the real masters at gilding the Palestinian Jesus are certain Palestinian Christians. Even though they should know better, it seems they have lived so long within a dominant Muslim culture that they too find it acceptable to tamper with the historical identity of Jesus. Anglican priest Naim Ateek, the founder of the Sabeel Palestinian Liberation Theology Center, delivered an Easter message in 2001, lamenting that “It seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him... Palestine has become one huge Golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily.” Sami Awad, a sponsor of the biannual Christ at the Checkpoint conference, once gave a Christmas message where he likened Israeli troops searching for terrorists in Bethlehem with ‘Herod’s soldiers’ who slaughtered the infants of the town two millennia ago. But it was Edward Said, the tenured Columbia professor and Arafat speechwriter, who first popularised the Palestinian Jesus and then perfected it in poetic cadence. In his 1988 BBC documentary film My Beautiful Old House, the late Said spoke of the Palestinians have to endure “this endless Calvary... this constant crucifixion.” So to be sure, there is nothing innocent about the Palestinian Jesus. It is a viscious double-edged sword in that it: 1) seeks to rob Jesus of his Jewish heritage as part of the Palestinian disinformation campaign to sever the Jewish link to their ancestral homeland, especially in the eyes of the Christian West, and 2) aims to stir up hostility toward the Jewish people by exploiting classic Christian antisemitic motifs, most notably that the collective Jews of Israel are still crucifying the real people of Jesus in the land – the Palestinians. This falsehood is extra devious in that most Palestinians know the Jewish people are reticent to claim Jesus as one of their own, due to all the Christian atrocities committed against them in his name. Yet if there is one positive coming out of this latest tussle over the Palestinian Jesus, it is that more and more Jews are beginning to reclaim Jesus as a son of Israel. This modern-day trend started with Jewish scholars such as Martin Buber, who always spoke of Jesus as his “elder brother,” and Prof. David Flusser, who viewed him as his favourite “rabbi.” Now we can add the son of Israel’s prime minister to that list. No Truth to the Palestinian Jesus Linda Sarsour gets backlash for ‘Jesus was Palestinian’ tweet October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780

1. 13 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 4 Boris’ Pro-Israel Cabinet Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL October 2019 Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 7 Italians Visit Ukraine 8 Rwanda Learns About Israel 15 Belaya Tserkov Memorial President Reuven Rivlin met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz at the President Residence in Jerusalem on 23 September 2019. | Photo: Flash90 Who Will Govern Israel? Yochanan Visser n Christians for Israel Correspondent in Israel The second Israeli parliamentary elections within six months yielded no clear winner. President Rivlin has mandated PM Netanyahu - who is facing possible indictment - to try to form a coalition. The potential kingmaker is Avigdor Lieberman. Israel is heading into unchartered political waters. In the elections on 17 September, the Blue and White Party of Benny Gantz, Moshe ‘Bogie’ Ya’alon and Yair Lapid won 33 seats - a loss of 2 compared to April, but two seats more than the Likud Party of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Likud Party of Netanyahu, the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israel’s history, gained only 32 seats, a loss of three seats compared to the April election. The President has the power to appoint one of the elected 120 Members of Knesset (MKs) as the next potential prime minister of Israel. The designated premier must then attempt to form a coalition that has the confidence of a majority of Knesset members. If that cannot be achieved within the timeframe set down by law, new elections will be required. The left-wing bloc of parties to which Blue and White belong includes the Democratic Union, which only won five seats, and the Labor Party, which formed a union with the Gesher party prior to the elections. The Gesher- Labor merger won only six seats a historic low for the party that ruled Israel for decades since the founding of the state. In total, the centre-left block won only 43 of the 120 seats in the new Knesset and is not even able to form a majority government with the help of the joint Arab list which won 13 seats. On the other hand, the right-wing bloc led by Likud won a disappointing 55 seats, insufficient to form a majority government. This group comprises Likud: the Sephardic Orthodox party Shas with nine seats; the United Torah Judaism, an Ashkenazi ultra-orthodox party with eight seats, and Yamina, a national religious party with seven seats. Yisrael Beiteinu became the biggest winner of the elections with nine mandates, a gain of four compared to April. The party of the Russian-speaking Avigdor Lieberman quit Netanyahu’s government in November 2018 because of a disagreement about a law that sought to impose mandatory military conscription for ultra- orthodox Yeshiva students. The difficult personal relationship between Netanyahu and Lieberman also played a role in the background. Lieberman supports a national unity government of secular parties consisting of Likud, Blue and White and Yisrael Beiteinu but so far has refused to endorse either Gantz or Netanyahu. On 24 September, President Reuven Rivlin formally gave Netanyahu four weeks to form the government, after meetings at the President’s R esidence with Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to try to agree on a unity government failed to bring about a breakthrough. Continued on page 3 AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au

9. Dear faithful readers & friends (chaverim), ‘Special Greetings from Israel’ as you read this October edition of Israel & Christians Today. My Wife Mandy and I are leading another Tour to Israel, Jordan and Turkey with 43 excited Australian Pilgrims with us. Walking in footsteps of the prophets, patriarchs, Yeshua and His disciples including Paul, Peter and the Apostles is always an incredible experience. Standing in the very location where many of the miracles and well-known stories of the Bible took place really bring the black and white pages to living 3D technicolour. Psalm 84.5 has the following promise.. “What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.” Come to Israel, Jordan and Greece next February 2020 for our Spring Tour If you have ever wanted to visit the land of promise and see the modern day miracle of Israel for yourself; then I want to personally invite you to join us on our next tour in the spring when all the land is lush and blooming with wild flowers and the weather is much milder. See our February 2020 Tour details on page 11 and call our agent at Olive Tree Travel 1300 550 830 today. This edition is again packed with some unique and topical insights and perspectives from our wonderful contributors and commentators. Keith Buxton has written about the significance of some of the feasts of Israel and why they matter to us as Christians, Ron Ross is tackling fake news regarding Israel—an issue it turns out, that is not unique to our current climate, but can go back as far as the days of Haman and Esther. Also Stan Goodenough tackles a very important and delicate topic regarding Biblical prophecy and God’s promises to Israel as their GOOD Shepherd. I know many of you look forward to getting your copy every two months, and some get extra copies to share with family friends and church. Free Israel 70 Years Magazine Offer This month I am pleased to offer a special incentive for those who can sign up a friend for our free newspaper subscription. Fill in the form on page 12 or go online to www.c4israel.com.au/newspaper/ and we will send you our beautiful, glossy, limited edition Israel 70 Years Commemorative Magazine as a thank you gift with our compliments. The magazine will become a collector’s item and is a great gift or resource for your coffee table or study to remind us of the amazing miracles that have taken place since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. We are keen to grow our readership and this is a creative and fun way you can help us do that. New online customer service facility Our volunteers have been busy helping us fine tune some of our backend systems and very soon it will be possible for you to log in to our website and change your personal details. For example if you wish to increase or decrease the number of newspapers we send out, or if you change your mailing address, phone number or email you can help us by changing those details online in an easy and secure way. To do this we will soon be sending login details to all our supporters who have given us their email address with a link to login securley and make changes. If you have not yet given us your email address or you do not yet have an email address (we suggest you create one if you don’t) we will be providing a special online and printed form for you to fill in and submit to us to give you access to your membership portal in our next mail communication to you in December. Free new updated mobile App Have you downloaded our free new mobile app for your iPhone, Android phone or tablet? With our free app you can read all the latest articles, and even download and read the most recent newspapers on your device—even download and read archived papers going back several years. You can also visit our webstore for some unique resources or gifts, make a secure donation to support one of the many Humanitarian projects and watch, or listen to video and audio teachings for free. To get the free app search: ‘C4Israel’ in your Apple or Google Play app store. Again I want to thank everyone for your generous support for the various Humanitarian projects we are committed to in our effort to comfort the Lord’s people and to bring them home from the faraway places they were scattered to under one of the various Aliyah programs we support. Remember the words of Yeshua our Lord and saviour (Messiah) and coming King: “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger and invite You in? Or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “And answering, the King will say to them, ‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Go away from Me, you cursed ones, into the everlasting fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” God Bless and Toda Roba (thank you very much) _____________________________________ Ian Worby National Leader & Regional Director for Christians for Israel Australia & Oceania. PS If you have or are going to change your address, please be sure to let us know so we can get your next edition to you on time and avoid the costs of having it returned to us by Australia post. October 2019 Report From Our National Leader Comforts Informs Inspires Ian Worby C4I Australia National Leader and Regional Director for Oceania ...we are committed to... comfort the Lord’s people and to bring them home Ian & Mandy Worby, South-East Israel, Masada Mandy Worby teaching about the apostasy of Jeroboam’s Northern Kingdom where they worshipped the golden calf at Tel Dan on our current September-October 2019 Israel Tour.

10. 2 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Opinion Piece Adam Geha CEO and co-founder of EG - Funds Management Firm The March of the Living – a Personal Reflection Walking the Extra Mile with the “Least of These” I’ve recently returned from a two week program to Poland and Israel with The ‘ March Of The Living’ —an organisation whose mission is to educate and challenge participants with two of the most significant events in Jewish history: the Shoah (The Holocaust) and the birth of the State of Israel. The March, a three kilometre walk from Auschwitz 1 to Birkenau, is a tribute to all victims of the Holocaust... their memories and their legacies. The March is designed to contrast with the death marches which began towards the end of World War II and continued up until the Third Reich’s last days. Below is my reflection on the March from a Christian perspective. _______________________________________ “For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.” – Matthew 25:42-45 (NLT) Question: why should a Christian leave his wife and family to spend precious time and a not inconsiderable amount of money touring some of the most heinous mass killing sites in history? The answer is clear when you take to heart what our Lord taught in Matthews 25 about the “least of these”. Mother Theresa in her 1971 Nobel Peace Prize speech said that Christ was not just referring to physical deprivation but to those who were hungry for love and thirsty for a sense of belonging. The least among us, she said, were “nobody to nobody”. If ever there was an episode in history where the meek walked naked, sick, thirsty, hungry, dispossessed, imprisoned and desperate—it is sadly found in the Holocaust—multiplied in the millions. Would it please our Lord therefore to take a little time to visit the mass graves of the “least of these” so as to bear witness to their suffering, honour their memory and ensure that their death and anguish was not in vain? My soul answered with a resounding “yes”. The depravity of the Holocaust went further. It targeted the most vulnerable among the vulnerable: the Jews, the elderly, the pregnant and the young. People over fifty years of age, pregnant women and young children were often sent immediately to the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. These were the least among the least. The murder of Anne Frank is tragedy enough for any human heart to bear. But how are we to respond to the murder of millions of Anne Franks? The human heart was not designed for such a cataclysm. It is not so much made dumb in Auschwitz as it is made numb. Soon after I returned from my trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau, I was moved to write in my journal: “As vast as it is the human heart is not large enough to contain the sorrows of the Holocaust. As vast as it is, the human imagination is not large enough to conceive the horrors of the Holocaust. And so, I find myself hating the statistics of the Holocaust. They remind me that my heart, however spacious is just too small for the remorse. Not that ‘statistics are liars’, rather they speak a truth too hard to bear.” At Auschwitz, I experienced something of the profound sorrow that our Lord must have felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was as though the weight of all the sins of the world hovered over that Polish soil and I could not help but absorb the anguish. The words of the World War I poet, Wilfred Owen, came to mind: “murder, multitudinous murder ... carnage incomparable and human squander, rucked too thick for these men’s extrication”. But as followers of the Jewish Jesus we understand better than anyone that if love survives the crucifixion it leads to resurrection. And so, it was with the Holocaust: after the carnage, a heightened sense of community emerged—and the Jewish people who were axed in number, waxed in nationhood... Israel was reborn. The promised land is once again with its Biblical inheritors. And the affection of the Jewish people for Haaretz Israel is obvious for all to see. The promised land is literally blossoming again with 250 million trees planted. Israel is the only country in the world that ended the 20th century with more trees than it had in 1900. The spiritual energy at the Western Wall in Jerusalem is palpable. Even the birds feel it. They fly excitedly above the swarming crowds as the sun sets and Shabbat approaches. It’s a scene I will always cherish, the ancient and the modern bathed in the eternal love of God. If you are thinking of joining the March of The Living —do it—don’t hesitate. The trip will both depress you and elevate you. Close your eyes and open your heart. It’ll make you sigh and make you cry. Make you angry and make you wise. It’ll make you shake your head and bow your head. But above all, it’ll bring you face to face with what it is to be human: part devil, part angel. And then there are the “least of these” . The March was an opportunity to walk a mile with them. An extra mile in fact, three kilometres to be precise. And to reprise the words of James McAuley: “It’s not alone the touching, seeing. It’s how to mean the other’s being.” _______________________________________ Adam Geha is CEO and co-founder of EG, a Sydney based funds management firm specialising in real estate investment and development. His interests include cricket, tennis, poetry, philosophy and religion. He is a Lebanese Christian Believer, happily married with two children: Immanuel (10) and Eva (6). See over to view details on the 2020 ‘March of the Living’ tour or visit their website for more details. www.motl.com.au As vast as it is, the human imagination is not large enough to conceive the horrors of the Holocaust. ‘March of the Living’ tour group from Australia passing through Auschwitz as a tribute to Holocaust survivors.

15. 7 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Commentary Ron Ross Author and Middle East correspondent and commentator Israel, Fake News and False Reports In 1475 Franciscan firebrand Bernadino da Fetre preached against the Jews. He lit a flame that torched history to this day. In Trent, Italy, a Christian infant Simon, disappeared. His body was found near the home of a Jewish community leader. Every Jew (men, women and children), was arrested. After 15 days of horrific treatment they ‘confessed’. The fanatical Bernadino da Feltre preached a series of sermons condemning the Jews. They murdered the child, he insisted. They drained his blood and drank it during Passover, he declared. The Prince-Bishop of Trent Johannes IV Hinderbach ordered the entire Trent community of Jews to be arrested and tortured. Fifteen Jews were burned at the stake Surrounding communities inflamed by the situation, committed more atrocities against the Jewish people. Although the Pope tried to intervene Hinderbach would have none of it. History records the tragic incidents of the ‘blood libel.’ The wickedly fabricated categorization of the child-murdering, blood-drinking Jews continues in anti- Semitic rantings to this day. Fake News has been a hot topic proclaimed often by US President Donald Trump. It is not new. The Lord gave clear and precise instruction to Moses on the Fake News front “You will not spread a false report.” (Exodus 23: 1) Very specific, very clear. With this verse in mind, much journalism today is little more than gossip and sadly many are deceived. In 1903 the cheeky Clarksburgh Daily Telegraph set a trap. They suspected their rival the Clarksburgh Daily Mail was pirating their stories. The Daily Telegraph reported a foreigner Mejk Swenekafew had been shot and was in a critical condition. A more detailed ‘report’ followed the next day in the Daily Mail. Oops! The name Swenekafew spells ‘we fake news’ backwards. Although that story brings a smile not all fake news is good natured. Haman In the Book of Esther wicked Haman proved to be a master of fake news. He compiled a long list of fake accusations against the Jews. He laced his charges with a mix of some half-truths and a smidgen of truth here and there. He set out to fool the King. “The time is now ripe,” said Haman, ‘for persecuting the Jews.” (If you have knowledge of Jewish culture by now you have appropriately uttered a boo or two. Jews boo at the name of Haman). The outcome for Haman was not what he expected. What he wished for the Jews, he himself received. Sadly the Haman hate spilled into church pulpits. The great Christian preacher John Chrystostom (AD 354- 530) wrote: “The synagogue is worse than a brothel and a drinking shop; it is a den of scoundrels, a temple of demons, the cavern of devils, a criminal assembly of the assassins of Christ...I hate the Jews...It is the duty of all Christians to hate the Jews.” Beware the same confused theology is repeated today, often with more polite wording but just as deadly rhetoric. I watched a TV interview recently with Dr John Hagee. He recalled, he received death threats when he suggested Christian support for Israel and the Jewish people. Martin Luther the hero of the Reformation declared his hatred in his book ‘On the Jews and their Lies.’ Luther wrote: “Their private houses must be destroyed and devastated, they could be lodged on stables. Let the magistrates burn their synagogues... We will be compelled to expel them like dogs.. We are at fault not slaying them.” These words inspired Adolph Hitler and the silence of the German Church throughout the holocaust was devastating. This was genuine hate but fake theology. The New York Times has come under scrutiny for what was Holocaust denial in their coverage. Owned by Jews of German descent, they were better placed to be very aware of events. In the NYT 26 out of 24,000 front- page stories featured Holocaust reports. In most of those stories the victims were described as ‘refugees’. Jews were identified only six times on page one. Surely this was fake news by censorship. Today fake news flows incessantly from the Palestinian Authority. Bassam Tawil (Gatestone Institute) wrote: “While Palestinian mosque preachers, political activists, journalists and senior officials have long been preoccupied with the mission of delegitimizing Israel and demonizing Jews, other Palestinians also fabricate “news” in order to further the Israeli death count. The epidemic of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” which has recently flooded the internet, is not new to Palestinian culture. In fact, “fake news” has long been an essential component of the Palestinian campaign to delegitimize Israel, demonize Jews and even to cite false claims. Historically, for example, Jordan illegally seized Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1948 war and proceeded to ethnically cleanse the area of Jews; in the 1967 war, the Israelis merely took their land back.” (Palestinians: Fake News and ‘Alternative Facts’, Gatestone Institute, March 9, 2017) The head of Apple Tim Cook said, “Fake News is killing people’s minds.” Stanford University describes Fake News as ‘misinformation.’ In a systematic study Stanford analysed 570 fake news websites and 10,240 fake news stories on Facebook and Twitter between January 2015 and July 2018. The news media has written a lot about fake news and other forms of misinformation, but scholars are still trying to understand it—for example, how it travels and why some people believe it and even seek it out. Fake is phony, deception, counterfeit, fraud, fabricated, misinformation and fictitious. I read a phrase once that seems so right . “If the map doesn’t agree with the ground, the map is wrong.” The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.” (Isaiah 59:14) We must be alert. Truth is divine and it is our safe place. Truth sets us free. _______________________________________ Ron Ross worked as a newsman in Jerusalem, broadcasting Middle East reports internationally. He is the Middle East correspondent for Vision Christian Radio and a popular speaker. www.ronross.org | ronandyvonne@mac.com If the map doesn’t agree with the ground, the map is wrong.

17. 9 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 The statue, ‘No Greater Love Than This,’ was dedicated this week in Semakh a century after the historic battle—honouring the Aboriginal soldiers who bled and died in WWI The battle that took place here 101 years ago near the Sea of Galilee was some-what different than most battles. During the night the Australian cavalry engaged the German enemy at the local train station—a very strategic location back then. Allied with the Ottoman Empire, the Germans had barricaded themselves inside the train station. But this did not deter the Australian cavalry, fighting for the British crown. They hurried ahead into battle and fought face to face with bayonet and sword. The Australian Cavalry were victorious, though with some loses. 19 Australian soldiers were killed and many were injured. Also about 100 German soldiers died and many more were also injured, and hundreds were captured. Mark Pollard, the grandson of one of the fighters, came to Semakh to officiate the statue commemorating his grandfather: “No Greater Love Than This,” a monument dedicated to all the Aboriginal soldiers who gave their lives during World War I. The statue shows Pollard holding a Bible and bending over the grave of his brother in arms. The horse behind him also bows his head towards the fresh grave. The statue was designed by Australian artist Jennifer Marshall and manufactured using a 3-D printer. The statue was also funded by many generous Australian donors including those who support Christians for Israel Australia and the Australian Light Horse Association. The Australian cavalry at Semakh was made up of Caucasians and Aboriginals who fought shoulder to shoulder. The Aborigines were dubbed the “Queensland Black Watch” by the Australians. Though nearly all Australian units included Aboriginals who fought, were injured and won awards for bravery and were killed, their stories have remained mostly untold. Over 1,000 Aboriginals joined the Australian army during WWI and served admorably. Unfortunatley upon returning home they were not given equal rights, such as the right to vote, says Barry Rodgers of the Australian Light Horse Association. However a lot has changed over the years. Nearly two years ago, at the centennial of WWI, the grandson of one of the Aboriginal fighters, James Lingwoodock, journeyed to Israel. He participated in reenactments of the battles alongside other decendants. Pastor Ray Minniecon, who was also present with family members from other Aboriginal soldiers at the reenactment said: “I can feel the spirit of our grandfather here... I’m very, very proud to be here...” He expressed a great hope that this event would pass on to the next generation and would be an opportunity for them to appreciate everything their ancestors accomplished. The Battle at Semakh was also historic for another reason. Giora Goodman, a historian at Kinneret Academic College who specializes in the history of pre-state Palestine explained it this way: “It was one of the brigade’s last cavalry battles... Increasing mechanization on the battlefield in the 20th century was about to end the long, rich history of cavalries.” Even today, Australians study the legacy of these courageous horsemen. “The charge of the horsemen and the capture of Semakh became a well-known story of heroism in the history of the Australian army during World War I,” Goodman adds. Now additional heroes of that battle are being discovered in Australia, and in far- away Israel. Keith’s article continued... Barry Rodgers, OAM Australian Light Horse Association Semakh Statue Unveiled verse 2. When God created the heavens and the earth, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” As we continue to learn—at times so slowly—to be all that God has created us to be, truly we are sustained and strengthened by the indwelling Spirit of God. It’s like God is saying to us, “Go out and make a difference for Me, and I’ll protect you from harm as the mother eagle protects her children from harm.” Friends, be encouraged! When it seems like your world is collapsing around you and you’re feeling desperate, know that God has not abandoned you. He is there hovering over you, guarding and protecting you. He is there to assure you of His love, His presence and His strength when you feel alone and forgotten. Verses 12-14 remind us that God’s blessing, protection and abundant provision are dependent upon our having no other allegiances, no other “gods” before Him. He must have first place in our lives. “So the LORD alone led him, and there was no foreign god with him.” And so we need never fear. God is with us, like a mother eagle caring for her young. Spread your wings and soar—don’t sit in your nest and grow fat and obese, as Moses puts it in verse 15: “But Jeshurun [a name for Israel] grew fat and kicked; you grew fat, you grew thick, you are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” Do you see here the warning? God promises to bless us and provide for us along the way, but prosperity and abundance—as promised here—can result in our forgetting God and thinking that we have prospered because of our own efforts and abilities. As Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt says: “We forget that life itself is a gift; that health, beauty, cleverness, strength, talent, are blessings which may be taken away from us without notice. We are not the ‘manufacturers’ of most of life’s blessings. Nor should we satisfy ourselves with being the ‘consumers’ only.” We can learn from his reminder that our prosperity or success is given to us not merely to consume and enjoy for ourselves, but to distribute and share. We are blessed to be a blessing. It is that attitude and practice that makes us—as the rabbi puts it— “truly grateful and truly human.” God’s Father heart is truly broken when His children stray into idolatry and rebellion. His discipline of them at the hands of other nations—recounted at some length in this chapter—gives Him no pleasure. Far better that they should recall His loving, tender care towards them in years past. And yet God’s compassion will eventually come to the fore to restore His people! Verses 26-35 spell out the eventual punishment of Israel’s conquerors for their arrogance, and God’s heart of faithfulness to His covenant takes centre stage in the closing verses of this song of Moses. The wonderful truth for us to hold on to is that however far we have strayed from God there is always hope because of His grace and mercy. Implicit in Deuteronomy 32:43, the final verse of the song itself, is the promise that God will forgive and restore His people as they renew their trust in Him. “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.” We see in this verse the incredible big- heartedness of our covenant-making and covenant-keeping God, ever faithful both to His chosen people the Jews and also to us who have come to know His redemptive love through Jesus. ________________________________________________________ Keith Buxton is the former National Director for Bridges for Peace Australia. www.bridgesforpeace.com Photo: Ps Ray Minnicon (left) and Mark Pollard (right) The dedication of ‘No Greater Love Than This’ at Semakh, September 25, 2019 Jennifer Marshall: creator of the model for the statue

12. 4 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Bible Prophecy Stan Goodenough Journalist and an Israeli-accredited tour guide Israel’s GOOD Shepherd This long, but critical, commentary should be read by all Israel-supporting Christians. It is partially grounded on the following passages: Ezekiel 20:5-44 and 36:19-22 – concerning Israel’s profaning of God’s name. Ezekiel 36:23-28 and 39:7-8 – concerning God’s sanctification of His name through His workings with Israel and His dealing with Israel’s enemies. Also, the following scriptures ( with my emphasis throughout ) all expressing God’s promises to national Israel: after its ejection from its Land, and at the time of its restoration to its Land: I will set My eyes on them for good , and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down , and I will plant them and not pluck them up . Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart. (Jeremiah 24:6-7) For thus says the Lord: “ Sing with gladness for Jacob , and shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O Lord, save Your people, the remnant of Israel!’ “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the ends of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and the one who labours with child, together; a great throng shall return there. “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock. ’ (Jeremiah 31:7-8,10) Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.’ “For thus says the Lord: ‘Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them. ” (Jeremiah 32:37-42) I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them ,” says the Lord your God. (Amos 9-14-15) One more time, please read this next passage carefully: And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “ when I am hallowed in you before their eyes . For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36: 23-28 With this groundwork laid, let’s proceed: A pernicious teaching is being embraced by millions of pro- Israel Christians today which, I truly believe, should cause grave concern to all who fear God and venerate His name. It holds the following to be “Biblical truth”: • That after returning home from 2000 years of exile, the nation of Israel is destined to experience a third holocaust 1 that will annihilate two- thirds of today’s 15 million Jews. • This nightmar e, which according to one well-known Bible teacher, “will make Auschwitz look like a Sunday-school picnic”, will lead the remaining third to accept Jesus. Quite simply but terribly, this blasphemous teaching profanes God’s name. It suggests that He does not really intend to keep His repeated assurances to His long-scattered, but now being restored, ancient people. Purportedly based on Scripture, what it really does is cobble together assorted Biblical passages to establish a Church- centered End Times design. The Bible, however, from Genesis to Revelation, is Israel- centered. With this is mind, let’s revisit the story of the Exodus. God had promised Abraham that He would deliver his descendants from slavery and bring them to the land of Canaan. (Genesis 15:13; Acts 7:6) When, due to their unfaithfulness after their deliverance, the LORD sought to slay them in the wilderness, Moses interceded in defense of God’s name—in fact, of His reputation – reminding Him of His promise and pleading with Him: “Now if you kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, ‘Because the LORD was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’” (Numbers 14:15-16) God had repeatedly pledged to bring the nation into its land. For the Gentiles to so much as insinuate that He wouldn’t or couldn’t keep His word was to open up His name to vilification. When, centuries later, Israel’s sinfulness would result in it being scattered among the Gentiles, God said that, by causing men to question His ability to keep them in their land, Israel would profane His name. (Ezekiel 36:20) It’s not that they went from place to place cursing God. They didn’t. In a great many instances, they valiantly practiced their faith in the face of intense persecution. Still, that Gentiles could scoff at God’s ability to keep His people in their land— that itself was a profaning of His name. What, then, about God’s Word; His reiterated Pledge, Promise and Commitment to return the Jewish people to their land AFTER their centuries of exile and, once there, to keep them safe? Concerning this, the Bible is as definite as it is consistent: The LORD is restoring them to their land where He will keep them as a shepherd keeps His sheep. Look again at the verses above. • God is bringing them back to plan t, bless and keep them in the land. • He has set His ey es on them “for good” and is returning them “to do them good.” In the doing of it, He will rejoice over them with all of His heart and all of His soul. • He will bring them back and cause them to dwell saf ely, blessing them. • He will build them and not pull them down, plant them and not pluck them up. • We Gen tiles are to “rejoice and be exceedingly glad”, for Israel’s long, dark, terribly painful time of tribulation has drawn to an end. The Jews are being restored to their land where the Lord will keep them as a shepherd keeps His sheep.

16. 8 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Biblical Perspectives Keith Buxton Former National Director for Bridges for Peace Australia THE SONG OF MOSES: Hebrew word pictures of God’s amazing love and faithfulness The Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah—recently ended— heralded the beginning of a 10-day period of prayer, self- examination and repentance, the Days of Awe. This is a time when Jews around the world resolve every year to put right all wrong relationships and to be reconciled with God, with their fellow human beings and with themselves. How appropriate then that we remember at this very time how Moses, in his final words to the children of Israel, directs their thoughts to God’s heart to restore them when they have failed and wandered away. The Torah portion Ha’azinu— Deuteronomy 32—is all about God and His amazing love and faithfulness! I like the insight of medieval French rabbi Rashi, who interpreted the request of Moses in verse 2: “Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distil as the dew, as raindrops on the tender herb, and as showers on the grass” to refer to the Torah, which, like rain that provides life to the world, should come in small droplets. Taking Time to Learn In other words, Moses wanted to teach the children of Israel slowly, the knowledge “raining” down on the people in small portions. If they were to be inundated by huge amounts of information and knowledge all at once, they would be overwhelmed. Don’t we live in an age of information overload? I certainly struggle with information bombarding me from every direction and from multiple sources, and by opinions of all kinds parading as facts (think Facebook, and the curse of so much social media). Then there are all the lifestyle pressures that serve only to minimise the time I have to even begin to process the stuff flying at me. That’s why taking time to meditate on the Word of God, allowing it to sink in and as it were permeate our mind and heart and soul, is so important. There are times when we really do need to stop our busy activity and listen to God and what He wants to say to us. May we resolve to be like the psalmist in Psalm 119 verse 15: “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” May His Word “drop as the rain” and “distil as the dew” , and so—little by little, but surely— change us as we grow in responsibility in a world in which we are called to live and make a difference, all for the glory of God. Israel’s History In “The Song of Moses” , which makes up much of Deuteronomy 32, Moses reminds God’s people of their history—from their time of slavery in Egypt, through their 40 years of wilderness wanderings, to their settlement of the Promised Land. Looking both backwards and forwards, he exposes Israel’s sins and anticipates the nation’s future captivity. Had the people remembered the goodness and tender care of God in times past, none of this prophesied and eventual judgment need have happened. I want to focus on three verses in particular that highlight God’s loving care, provision and protection, with two beautiful word pictures that speak directly into our lives. Deuteronomy 32:10-12: “He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young , spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings , so the LORD alone led him, and there was no foreign god with him.” We meet the phrase “apple of His eye” several times in the Bible. ‘Apple’ is ‘ iyshon’ , which is derived from the noun ‘iysh’ , the Hebrew word for ‘man.’ The original Hebrew for this idiom here is ‘iyshon ‘ayin - and so God is saying that He kept Israel as “the little man of the eye.” The reference here is to the tiny reflection of yourself that you can see in other people’s pupils. If you stand really close to someone and the light is just right, you can see yourself, your face, being reflected in the other person’s eyes. Your image in their eyes! God is so close to Israel His treasured people, loving and protecting and guarding them, that she is seen in His very eyes! And do you know something? God loves every one of us that much! The next beautiful word picture is that of a mother eagle training her young to fly. The eagle’s nest typically consists of briars, thorns and sharp sticks with a lining of animal skins, leaves and feathers. When the eaglets are ready to learn how to fly their mother throws out the comfortable lining. She “stirs up” the nest by removing all their safety and security—but she herself remains with them. I was fascinated to explore just what the mother eagle does to train her little ones to fly. She lets them fall—even nudges them out of the nest —before swooping down to catch them and carry them to safety. It’s all part of the learning process. The nest is not their destiny. They were created to fly and soar high into the sky, riding the thermals. Israel was created uniquely by God to fulfil her God-given potential to be a blessing to the world. Just like you and I, created to make a difference in God’s world. The mother eagle “Hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings.” The word translated “hover” is only found in one other place in the whole Bible, in Genesis 1 ...our prosperity or success is given to us ...to distribute and share. We are blessed to be a blessing.

6. 18 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Biblical Reflection 6 The Outcry - Psalm 2 - Part 7a Johannes Gerloff n Theologian, Journalist, Lecturer & Author This article is the seventh instalment (split into 2 parts) in a series of contributions to the interpretation of Psalm 2. The Anointed Servant of the Lord in Psalm 2 does not accept the terrible task of smashing the nations with an iron rod (verse 9), without emotions. He cries out: “Be reasonable, kings! Be warned, judges of the earth” (verse 10). Messiah calls upon the mighty of the world: “Aim your reason for this, bring this to your understanding!” He asks them to hold on and to show intelligence and discernment. Historically, Radak assigns this statement to David, the son of Ishai, who, one thousand years before our era, called this out to the Philistine kings who had assembled to fight against him. However, this call to accept reason in the face of the living God, pervades the millennia up to the present time, wherever the people of Israel have fulfilled their prophetic calling. Rashi remarks at this point: “The prophets of Israel are merciful people. They exhort the nations of the world to depart from their wickedness, because the Holy One, blessed be He, extends His hand to the evil and the righteous alike.” Prophets who were connected to the heartbeat of their God never surrendered without contradiction to an announcement of judgment. Fatalism is alien to biblical revelation. Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Jeremiah and Daniel are but a few for whom a word of judgment was the occasion to contradict God, to negotiate with Him. The foremost task of a prophet has always been intercession before God and then, quite naturally, the pleading call to repentance to those for whom judgment threatens. Even today, rabbis assume that only the good promises of God are incontrovertible. When God predicts evil, misfortune is not inevitable. God is always open to considering the repentance of a sinner and is even ready to change His mind. Abraham Ibn Ezra observes the poetic structure of Psalm 2 stating: “The ‘Be reasonable!’ [in verse 10] stands opposite to the ‘Against the Lord’ [in verse 2]. The ‘judges’ are parallel to the ‘kings’ because, in fact, the king’s main task was to judge the people.” Samson Raphael Hirsch, in his unique way of interpretations, is able to shine light on many subtleties of the Hebrew language. He also draws attention to certain intertwining within this psalm which can only be understood in Hebrew: The (hivasru), ‘Be warned!’ is to be understood as: “Submit yourselves to the (musar), instruction and discipline”. And Ibn Ezra observes that the (hivasru) is the opposite of ‘their bonds’ (mosrotemo), which the Gentile nations and their rulers seek to throw away in verse 3. The message of this psalm is poetically woven into the choice of vocabulary and the use of the word roots. He shows through sound-like and related words that ‘repentance’ is a deliberate about- face, a conscious turn against the current with which one has previously swum. Such a U-turn is even able to change an established and publicly proclaimed decision of God Himself. Amos Hakham emphasises: “Even though the Lord has given authority to [the messianic Servant of the Lord] to destroy [the rebellious nations], he has no pleasure in their demise. Rather, he wants them to go the right way.” The God of Israel seeks the insight, the repentance and the healing of the one who has gone astray. Biblical prophecy is always a call to repentance. Therefore, in Scripture the forecasts of judgment are never unconditional and irreversible. This heartbeat of God and His confidants is already audible in the first words of Psalm 2. Luther writes: “For the prophet too, as though he were deeply sorry for their iniquity, starts with a question, namely: ‘Why do they rage?’ Why do they expose themselves as an object of mockery? Why do these fools intend impossible things? Oh, that they would come to their senses and become wise.” And Radak paraphrases the basic message of the psalmist: “Realise that you have not the slightest chance to reverse the doing of God. He commanded me to be king. How can you turn ‘against the Lord’? Come to your senses! Take it to heart! For you cannot thwart the work of the Lord.” Martin Luther furthermore observes the moral courage of the Messiah: “How bold and how – as we might say nowadays – agitating and infuriating is this exceedingly insolent prophet, who puts his mouth in the sky, daring to attack not the lowest and the common people but the highest heads and even kings, to teach those who are bumptious by their title and office as teachers of the people, and certainly because of the custom and the honor which they deserve according to their delusion ( opinionis honore) may not suffer this exceedingly great insult.” “Serve the Lord with fear”, the Anointed One of Israel challenges those nations who are united against the Lord: “Rejoice with trembling!” (verse 11). Align your plans with His will, “want what He wants and serve Him! Fear Him and know that He is entitled to power and might, and not you who assembled with a large crowd” (Radak). Luther dares to object: “That is a strange saying and in our eyes weird. For fear causes hatred and fleeing, not service (famulatum), and trembling is totally contrary to the joy.” But as contradictory as this may seem to modern man, Paul already knew: “His compassion for you is overwhelming, when he thinks of all your obedience, as you have received him with fear and trembling” (2 Cor 7:15 ). And Rashi recalls Isaiah 33:14, which also talks of a trembling that seizes the apostates. Ultimately, this fear leads to cheers and joy, “if your service is to the Lord.” In an excellent way Hirsch sums up this spiritual principle: “The Gila [= joy] that grows of Reada [= fear and trembling] and is based on Reada is the highest bliss, of which a creature that is talented with awareness before its Creator, of which a human being is capable before his God.” The full text of this article, including extensive footnotes, can be found at www.c4israel.org/teaching-articles/ Three Jewish men praying at sunset | Photo: Shutterstock Short News Drilling Rigs Underway Mid-July 2019, the first of five production platforms for natural gas was towed from Texas USA to Israel. This summer the remaining platforms will follow. The enormous platforms weigh 38,000 metric tons each and will be lifted onto already fitted pillar foundations. An operation that will take four weeks in total. Once in position, the platforms will process natural gas from the biggest offshore Israeli gas field, the Leviathan gas field, for the Israeli market. | Photo: Noble Energy Unsafe in Europe Jewish inhabitants of Europe, especially teenagers and young adults, are considering moving elsewhere because they feel unsafe. This is evident from a report by the European Commission which states that 41% (in the 16 to 34- year age group) are considering emigration; 45% intentionally choose not to wear recognisable Jewish items for fear of safety. Jordanian Books Inferior Jordanian textbooks were partially improved in the last few years. Tolerance and moderate Islam receive more attention, but as far as the image of Israel is concerned, there is not much good news. The survey reports that Israel is “mainly described as a Zionist entity without rights or history.” Safe Beach Thirteen beaches near Tel Aviv got a blue flag. The flag is awarded to beaches that meet the highest international standards concerning safety, beauty and accessibility for disabled persons and environmental protection. | Photo: Flash90 Facebook Induces Depression Israeli research shows results that are not favourable for Facebook lovers. The study shows that lounging around for fifteen minutes on Facebook is enough to increase the chances of getting depression. The reason is that Facebook affects people’s self-respect. October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780

20. 12 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Featured Resources and Gifts Filled with gorgeous portraits of the land where the many of the Biblical stories took place, this unique calendar shows Australians a sampling of Israel’s beauty, while also highlighting major feasts found in the Old Testament that Jews still celebrate today. Christian audiences will discover a new-found appreciation for the Old Testament and its connection to Jesus and His role as their Messiah. Jewish audiences will also discover the Christians perspective of the Old Testament’s connection to their religious convictions found in the New Testament and how it shapes their understanding of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. Unique Features of this 12 Month Calendar includes: • All major Biblical/Jewish (Lord’ s appointed times) and Israeli holidays marked and explained in a special reference chart in back of calendar. • Western and Hebrew Dates. • Australian National Holidays. • Sabbath (Shabbat) beginning and ending times. • Suggested Feast Day Scripture readings for both the Old and New Testaments in back of calendar. A unique calendar for Australians that showcases the beauty of Israel and celebrates the Biblical feasts and Holidays of the Jewish people. $18 The Holy Land of Israel 2020 Calendar SKU: 13030GFT Free Delivery orders over $50 vision.org.au/store | 1800 00 50 11 ORDER ONLINE TODAY! There’s even more great gifts and topical resources on Israel from Vision Christian Store ! See our full range online: vision.org.au/store NEW! Sign up a friend to ‘Israel & Christians Today’ Newspaper and receive the ‘ Israel 70 Years ’ Commemorative Magazine FREE * ! Your Full Name: ____________________________ Address: _________________________________ _________________________________________ State: ________________ Postcode: __________ Friends Full Name: _________________________ Address: _________________________________ _________________________________________ State: ________________ Postcode: __________ Number of Newspapers Bi-monthly: c 1 c 2 c 5 c Other: __________________ *1 Magazine per person. limited offer. while stocks last. SEND DETAILS TO: Christians for Israel, Australia , PO Box 1508, Springwood, QLD, 4127

11. 3 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Specialty Tour to Israel and Poland March of the Living: A Journey to Poland & Israel 18th April – 2nd May 2020 JOIN US IF YOU ARE COMMITTED TO: ✔ Stand side by side together with the Jewish Community to participate in a truly immersive educational / spiritual / emotional / intellectual journey exploring 2 of the most significant events in modern Jewish history – the Holocaust and the birth of the State of Israel ✔ March against modern day antisemitism & racism ✔ Foster tolerance, education and understanding ✔ Honour & learn about the Righteous Gentiles who risked their own lives to save countless Jewish lives ✔ Show your support for the State of Israel WHAT TO DO NEX T - 1. R egister your interest and obtain a detailed itinerary and booki ng form from Olive Tree Travel 2. Secure your place by paying a deposit of $500 (no later than 31st October 2019) 3. The final balance will be payable by 15th December 2019 “This is a March of Living in a place where there was only death. This is a bright light in the place where there was only darkness.” Reuven Rivlin – President, State of Israel About Your Hosts Peter Kentley (Captain Ret.) Peter has a Jewish father and a Gentile mother. All his family on his father’s side, bar one, died in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Peter flew as an airline pilot in domestic and international operations for 37 years. Peter is a Board Member with the Graeme Clark Foundation and Director of Beersheba Vision Inc . He has travelled to Israel six times including being part of the Australian Light Horse Centenary Commemoration at Beersheba in October 2017. Peter is also on the organising team of Nations Bless Israel and will soon be heard on a 1 hour weekly radio program on J-Air on Christian Zionism. Peter is a highly regarded organiser, networker and communicator who has a pas - sionate interest in the fulfilment of Biblical Prophecy through Israel. He looks forward to sharing this journey with other like-minded people. * Conditions apply. Subject to change. Price based on minimum of 30 participants. TOTAL PACKAGE PRICE FOR POLAND + ISRAEL: OPTIONAL SINGLE ROOM $2,675 SUPPLEMENT ADDITIONAL $11,990* Escorted By Mr Peter Kentley & Rabbi Y Riesenberg as well as a representative from March Of The Living Australia and a survivor Join us in Poland (for Holocaust Memorial Day) & Israel (For Israel’s Independence Day) on the March of the Living as we stand in solidarity with the Jewish people and honour the Righteous Among the Nations. The March of the Living itself, a 3-kilometre walk from Auschwitz to Birkenau, is a tribute to all victims of the Holocaust, their memories and their legacies. In 2020, March of the Living Australia is extending an invitation to the Christian community of Australia & New Zealand to stand together and join the Jewish and international delegation of almost 15,000 people from around the world. After spending a week in Poland visiting sites of Nazi Germany’s persecution and former and current sites of Jewish life and culture, we’ll travel across to Israel the following week to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day. Our March of the Living journey will also honour and retell the many stories of bravery and heroism by so many Righteous (Gentiles) Among the Nations, who risked their own lives to save the lives of others. Please join us on this “Journey for a Lifetime”. Rabbi Yitzhok Isaac Riesenberg Rabbi Riesenberg was the founding Rabbi of Central Community Centre in Melbourne, which has become one the largest and most vibrant synagogues in Australia. In recent years he has been instrumental in forging ties with the Christian (Zionist) leadership community of Australia. With the host ing of pioneering events that include the Liberal Friends of Israel, Nations Bless Israel and a forthcoming Sukkot Tabernacle Celebration. He is a child of Holocaust Survivors and was born in Vienna, Austria. With this background and knowledge of Jewish texts, he will add a deeper layer of meaning and understanding for all participants. Furthermore, with his extensive relationships in the Jewish community he will be instrumental in facilitating closer ties between Jewish and non-Jewish participants at MOTL 2020. All airfares are included 1300 550 830 | 03 8488 9696 | info@olivetreetravel.com.au

25. 25 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Israel & the Palestinians 12 Israel’s Story in Maps Map 8 | Judea & Samaria n A tall mountain range controlling the narrow, low plains of Tel Aviv The State of Israel has been in control of Judea and Samaria for over 50 years - almost the same time as the British and the Jordanians combined. Israel’s leaving the Gaza Strip led to massive rocket fire on Ashdod and Be'er Sheva. The mountain range of Judea and Samaria reaches a height of 1,050 meters and dominates Israel’s population center from Be'er Sheva and Ashkelon in the South to Netanya and Afula in the North. Map 9 | A Cross Section n A tall mountain range controlling the narrow, low plains of Tel Aviv The height of the Coastal Plain from the sea to the Green Line rises from 0 to 100 meters above sea level. The height of the area of Judea and Samaria is between 100 and 1,050 meters above sea level, and control of the area means full topographic control of the region. It takes only three minutes to fly from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Control of the mountain range allows the defense of Israel’s eastern border. Beyond that border lie Jordan, Iran and Iraq, with considerable political and security instability and risk. The mountain range in Judea and Samaria allows for protection against aerial or other invasion from the east. Be’er Sheva David Parsons n Vice President & Senior Spokesman | International Christian Embassy Jerusalem | www.icej.org When Linda Sarsour tweeted recently that Jesus was a Palestinian, some might have thought it was an innocent mistake. But given that this same canard has stirred similar backlashes over recent months thanks to US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and others, chances are Sarsour knew just how mischievous her actions were. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, certainly thought so. Indeed, there is nothing innocent about the ‘Palestinian Jesus.’ It has ignoble origins, mean-spirited motivations and fraudulent ends. The fabrication of a Palestinian Jesus has been a core part of the lexicon of Palestinian nationalism since at least the 1960s, as evidenced by news archive photos of a press conference held by PLO chief Yasser Arafat in Amman in June 1970. Over his shoulder hangs a poster of a gaunt, near-naked Palestinian nailed to a Star of David. The message is clear: the Palestinians are suffering at the hands of the Jews, just like Jesus did. The Palestinians borrowed this hateful equation from several unseemly sources. First, it draw s on classic Christian antisemitic motifs imported from Europe to the Middle East in modern times by church clerics and others. Islam has its own embedded antisemitic slurs, but the first blood libel against the Jews in the region came courtesy of Italian clergymen serving in Damascus in 1840. Even among British Mandate authorities stationed in Jerusalem in the 1930s, it was a commonly heard refrain that “the Jews killed Jesus... and they would do it again.” Nazi propagandists also exported their antisemitic imagery and ideology into the Middle East, both before the war and afterwards, when many received refuge in Cairo and Damascus. Some of the vilest antisemitic Nazi cartoons, especially those utilising the symbol of the cross, have been copied like stencils by Arab cartoonists for decades. The Palestinian Jesus is also modelled on the Nazi fiction of an Aryan Jesus: that the pure, noble Christ could never have sprung from the corrupt, evil Jews, but rather was of Roman or Germanic ancestry. A third source is the liberation theology that flourished in Latin America in the last century. As Marxist elements started stirring revolutions throughout the region, many local Catholic priests began supporting the cause by portraying Christ as a revolutionary who fought Roman oppression. Although the Vatican would eventually warn that their scriptures were being wrongly used to justify violence against oppressors, the tenets of liberation theology were readily adopted by radical black activists in the US (e.g., Rev. Jeremiah Wright), the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa (Bishop Desmond Tutu), and by the Palestinian nationalist camp. Finally, Islamic culture has always had a penchant for openly tampering with the historical figure of Jesus. As Jerusalem Post op-ed editor Seth J. Frantzman righ tly noted earlier this week, Islam acknowledges the links between Jesus and the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as the lawgiver Moses, kings David and Solomon, and even the tribes of Israel. But Islam also completely warps his identity in many other ways that are irreconcilable with the Bible, especially the New Testament. For instance, the Jesus of the Koran was born to Mary, but she just happens to also be Miriam, the sister of Moses. He is considered a Muslim prophet, but his claim to be the Son of God is flatly denied. In addition, the Muslim Jesus was never really crucified but ascended to heaven from where he will return one day to eradicate Christianity and proclaim Islam as the true religion. Thus, we find in the Palestinian Jesus a toxic melding of a Marxist guerrilla and Aryan hero, along with heavy doses of Christian and Islamic anti-Semitism and supersessionism. The result has been a morbid competition among Palestinian leaders and elites as to who can come up with the sharpest quip, the cleverest analogy, the most creative metaphor equating the contemporary Palestinian plight with the sufferings of Christ. At a news conference at the United Nations in 1983, Arafat called Jesus “the first Palestinian fedayee [militiaman] who carried his sword.” When Arafat triumphantly took control of Bethlehem on December 1995, he told a throng gathered in Manger Square that he was there to liberate “the birthplace of our Lord the Messiah... the city of the Palestinian Jesus!” During a visit to the V atican a few years later, Arafat even greeted Pope John Paul II as “the successor of Peter, the first Palestinian pope.” Arafat’s successor, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has described Jesus as “a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace.” Prominent PA official Saeb Erekat has referred to Jesus as the ‘first Palestinian shahid [martyr].’ His colleague Jibril Rajoub once exclaimed: “The greatest Palestinian in history since Jesus is Yasser Arafat.” But the real masters at gilding the Palestinian Jesus are certain Palestinian Christians. Even though they should know better, it seems they have lived so long within a dominant Muslim culture that they too find it acceptable to tamper with the historical identity of Jesus. Anglican priest Naim Ateek, the founder of the Sabeel Palestinian Liberation Theology Center, delivered an Easter message in 2001, lamenting that “It seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him... Palestine has become one huge Golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily.” Sami Awad, a sponsor of the biannual Christ at the Checkpoint conference, once gave a Christmas message where he likened Israeli troops searching for terrorists in Bethlehem with ‘Herod’s soldiers’ who slaughtered the infants of the town two millennia ago. But it was Edward Said, the tenured Columbia professor and Arafat speechwriter, who first popularised the Palestinian Jesus and then perfected it in poetic cadence. In his 1988 BBC documentary film My Beautiful Old House, the late Said spoke of the Palestinians have to endure “this endless Calvary... this constant crucifixion.” So to be sure, there is nothing innocent about the Palestinian Jesus. It is a viscious double-edged sword in that it: 1) seeks to rob Jesus of his Jewish heritage as part of the Palestinian disinformation campaign to sever the Jewish link to their ancestral homeland, especially in the eyes of the Christian West, and 2) aims to stir up hostility toward the Jewish people by exploiting classic Christian antisemitic motifs, most notably that the collective Jews of Israel are still crucifying the real people of Jesus in the land – the Palestinians. This falsehood is extra devious in that most Palestinians know the Jewish people are reticent to claim Jesus as one of their own, due to all the Christian atrocities committed against them in his name. Yet if there is one positive coming out of this latest tussle over the Palestinian Jesus, it is that more and more Jews are beginning to reclaim Jesus as a son of Israel. This modern-day trend started with Jewish scholars such as Martin Buber, who always spoke of Jesus as his “elder brother,” and Prof. David Flusser, who viewed him as his favourite “rabbi.” Now we can add the son of Israel’s prime minister to that list. No Truth to the Palestinian Jesus Linda Sarsour gets backlash for ‘Jesus was Palestinian’ tweet October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Marie-Louise Weissenböck n Christians for Israel Austria Abdol Hossein Sardari, an Iranian diplomat stationed in Paris, went to extraordinary lengths to protect Iranian Jews from Nazi persecution. Born in 1914, Sardari was a member of the distinguished Pahlavi family. He left Teheran as a teenager to continue his education in Europe. In 1925 his family in Iran took control of the country in what was known as the start of the Pahlavi dynasty. In 1936 Sardari graduated in Law from Geneva University in Switzerland and joined the diplomatic service. He was assigned to Iran’s prestigious Paris embassy in 1940, right at the time Hitler invaded. France was carved up; the Nazis took over the north of the country, and a pro-Nazi French regime under Marshal Philippe Petain took over the south and established its headquarters in the town of Vichy. Most of the Iranian embassy staff fled to the relative calm of the Vichy sector. While the Ambassador, Sardari’s brother in law, returned to Iran, Sardari remained behind as Consul General, heading up a scaled back staff in Paris. In his responsibility as Consul General he was driven by a sense of duty and personal resp onsibility to assist several hundred Iranian Jews in the city, at risk of Nazi persecution. Paris was a popular destination for Iranians at that time, and a sizeable community settled there. Historian Fariborz Mokhtari, whose book ‘In the Lion’s Shadow’ details Sardari’s story, states that the Iranian community was successful in the city. “They celebrated Iranian holidays, some of them owned big luxurious houses and stores.” Iran was a useful ally for Germany on the Soviet Union’s south-western border. Germany was also Iran’s biggest trading partner. Ties deepened after 1933 following Hitler’s rise to power. In Hitler’s worldview of racial hierarchy, he cultivated the idea that Iranians, like the Germans, had superior blood. This view became policy when, in 1936, Hitler declared Iran to be an Aryan state. This served to massage the egos of Iranian nationalists. Diplomatic and business exchanges continued throughout the years of Hitler’s rule. Jews had been living in Persia for thousands of years, with the earliest Jewish presence dating to the exile following the destruction of the first temple in 586 BCE. Under the new rule of the Pahlavi dynasty, which had ushered in a wave of modernisation and new reforms, the Jewish community saw greater protection under that dynasty. Reza Shah informed Hitler that he considered Iranian Jews to be fully assimilated Iranians and would take offence to them being blacklisted in any way. Despite his annoyance, Hitler begrudgingly accepted this, at least in the short term while it was expedient for him that Iranian Jews would not be officially classified as enemies of the Reich. This move would be exploited to maximum effect by Sardari, now the Consul General in Paris, who eyed an opportunity to protect his countrymen living under German occupation. One of his first steps was to help Jews hide behind the elevated status given to Iranians in general by issuing new passports which made no reference to their religion. Later he would make the case that although the Jews of Iran did follow some of the traditions of M oses, they had lived in Persia so long and become so assimilated into Persian culture, they were no longer racially distinguishable as Jews. He classified them under a new term, ‘Jugutus’ - a group who followed some Mosaic practices but were not actually racially Jewish. Backed up with pseudo-scientific research, and playing on Hitler’s machinations towards Iran, as well as wining and dining Nazi officers in the city, Sardari managed to convince several senior Gestapo bureaucrats of his logic. His efforts led to a directive that Iranian Jews in Paris be exempt from wearing the yellow Star of David. Sardari issued hundreds of passports and forms of documentation for Iranian Jews who turned to him for help. He also helped Jews who weren’t of Iranian descent. After the war, Sardari had to return to Teheran where he faced disciplinary action for issuing unwarranted Iranian passports. It took him ten years to clear his name, after which he retired from diplomatic service and moved to London where he had family. He died in 1981. Historical | Israel Today 13 The Iranian Schindler Sardari (second from the right in glasses) with the Iranian senior staff as they fled Paris in 1940 Israel Today n A team of marine biologists from Northeastern University’s Ocean Genome Legacy Center described a newly-discovered freshwater shipworm, measuring 10 centimeters, found in the Abatan River in the Philippines. The remarkable distinction of this shipworm from all others is its ability to feed on carbonate limestone, a kind of soft rock. Other shipworms feed on wood. This makes it the only species of worm capable of burrowing into and ingesting rock. That is quite an amazing discovery, and it immediately brings to mind the mythical ‘Shamir worm’ mentioned in ancient Jewish sources. The Shamir is believed to have gone extinct following the destruction of the First Temple, an event that religious Jews believe dramatically altered the entire world as it was known until that time. One Jewish source says the following on this worm: “The Shamir is a creature about the size of a grain of barley, created during the six days of Creation. No hard substance can withstand it. How is it kept? They wrap it in tufts of wool and place it in a lead tube full of barley bran.” It’s a surprisingly detailed description of how to keep these worms content and prevent them from cutting right through their containers. It’s as if the author is saying, “Dear reader, we know you will find this hard to believe, but trust us. We know what we are talking about.” Clearly, expertise had been developed in the keeping and use of these creatures. One of the ancient uses for the Shamir worms, it is said, was the cutting of the stones for Solomon’s Temple. This, according to the sages, is the explanation for the otherwise inexplicable description of the cutting of the Temple’s stones found in I Kings 6:7, which reads: “When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built.” To avoid the use of iron tools even at the quarry, the sages say that “with the Shamir, Solomon built the Temple.” According to these writings, the stonemasons would mark the rock with a special ink. The Shamir worms would then be guided to begin eating away the rock along these lines, resulting in the rock splitting apart, “like a fig that splits open in summer and nothing at all is lost.” Solomon’s Temple Explained? Jacob Jacob, in Hebrew: Ya`aqov, is the third progenitor of the people of Israel. Sometimes, the prophets use the name Jacob to indicate the people of Israel (e.g. Isaiah 43:1). In the New Testament, the name also appears many times. We know the disciple James, and James, the brother of the Lord, one of the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. In Genesis 25:26, we read an explanation of the name Jacob: “Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob.” The Hebrew word for heel is `aqev, which we also can hear in Ya`aqov. It could be translated as “he grasps the heel”. Jacob did not yield an inch. “In the womb, he took his brother by the heel” (Hosea 12:4). Did he try to supplant his brother? That is what Esau was convinced of: “Is he not rightly named Jacob, for he has supplanted me these two times?” (Genesis 27:36) Esau uses the Hebrew verb `aqav, which means to follow, but also to supplant, and finally to deceive. The verb appears only three times in the Old Testament. Which meaning applies? Jacob was at Esau’s heels. Maybe Esau felt deceived by him: “Is he not rightly named ‘He deceives’?” For a name explains somebody’s character. Was that feeling justified? When Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew, Jacob’s intention was abundantly clear. He may have taken Esau by the heel, but he did not lead him up the garden path. Esau was already there. True, the second time, Esau was not there. As soon as he had left, Jacob stepped into his place to receive the blessing from Isaac. Jacob supplanted Esau. So it had been from their childhood and on. “The babies jostled each other within her” (Genesis 25:22 NIV) when mother Rebecca was pregnant with the twins. Jacob stands for the rivalry between the brothers. The younger one rises above, the older one. The older shall serve the younger. Maybe that is what Hosea means when he speaks of Jacob in the womb and his maturity. As an (unborn) baby, he supplanted his brother, and as a mature man, he was a prince before God. Jacob, who supplants his brother, grows to be Israel, Prince of God. Biblical Names By Kees de Vreugd October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780

26. 26 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Kameel Majdali n Director | Teach All Nations Inc. It is not the biggest in the world - though it has impressive dimensions. It is not the most scenic - though it is picturesque and moving. The number of fish it contains cannot rival that of many other bodies of water, yet its fish are world-famous. Despite all this, it is the most famous body of water in the world. Though it is a lake, we call it the ‘Sea of Galilee.’ A Bible tour of the holy land is not complete without a visit to this majestic, natural tribute to the ministry of Jesus Christ. While called ‘Sea of Galilee’ five times in the New Testament (Matthew 4:18; 15:29; Mark 1:16; 7:31; John 6:31), it is also known as ‘Sea of Chinnereth (Numbers 34:11); Sea of Chinneroth (Joshua 12:3), and Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1). It’s Hebrew name is Kinneret, derived from the Hebrew word ‘kinnor’ which means ‘harp.’ Look at the lake on a map, and you’ll understand why. Its dimensions? The Sea of Galilee is 21 kilometres (13 miles long), 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) wide, 50 metres (164 feet) deep, 51 kilometres (32 miles) around the shore, 166 square kilometres surface (64 square miles) and 224 meters (734 feet) below sea level. Its fish content includes catfish and tilapia. While these dimensions may not impress compared to North America’s Great Lakes or Siberia’s Lake Baikal, the fact is its a fish-filled, freshwater lake in the arid Middle East - indeed, the only one. That alone makes the Sea of Galilee special. And there is more. The reason this lake is the most famous in the world, drawing hundreds of thousands of Christian pilgrims year-after-year, is because it was the stage for Jesus Christ’s ministry, particularly the North and North-Western shore. Though born in Bethlehem of Judea, Jesus was raised a Galilean in Nazareth. After commencing His ministry, He was rejected by the people of Nazareth and moved His headquarters to Capernaum on the northern shore of the lake. This move was a fulfilment of prophecy (Matthew 4:12-17). In Jesus’ day, there were up to seven cities on or near the lake, many with a population of 15,000 or more. These included Tiberias, Magdala, Gennesaret, Capernaum, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Hippos. Despite its long coastline, Jesus basically ministered in the NW shoreline of the lake, from Magdala to Bethsaida. The ultra-fertile Plain of Gennesaret, between Magdala and the Mount of Beatitudes, would have been very familiar to Him. It is subtropical, meaning, you can grow almost anything on it. This plain also was the location of the great Afro- Eurasian Highway, linking Africa with Asia and Europe. Jesus once visited the Gentile-inhabited, swine-herding, eastern shore of the lake to heal the man filled with a legion of demons. We now call this man the ‘Gadarene demoniac.’ Despite its proximity, it is possible Jesus never visited Tiberias, both because of its founder (Herod Antipas) and its unsavoury reputation and lifestyle. Consider the myriad of ministry activities that occurred near or on the Sea of Galilee, including: Ÿ Luke 5:4-9: Catching a big haul of fish; Ÿ Matthew 4:18-19: Disciples are called to follow Christ; Ÿ Matthew 5-7: Sermon on the Mount, the most famous message in history; Ÿ Mark 1:23-28: The Gadarene demoniac healed. Ÿ Matthew 8:14-15: Peter’s mother-in-law healed. Ÿ Matthew 11:20-24: Cities of Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida rebuked. Ÿ Mark 4:35-36: The Gadarene voyage; Ÿ Luke 8:23-25: The stilling of the storm on the Lake; Ÿ Mark 5:1-20: Gadarene demoniac healed; Ÿ Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:i30-44; Luke 9:11-17; John 6:1-14: The feeding of the 5,000 (the only miracle of Jesus mentioned in all four gospels). Ÿ Mark 6:45-52: Jesus walks on water; Ÿ Matthew 15:32-38: Feeding of the 4,000; Ÿ Mark 8:22-26: Blind man healed at Bethsaida. Even though twenty centuries have passed since the earthly ministry of Christ, a visit to the lake makes it feel as if time has stood still: the glittering water, the mauve hills, the serene atmosphere, the strangely familiar surroundings, all lend themselves to a moving experience as you recall these Biblical events on-site. Finally, there is a spiritual lesson to be learned. The Se a of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River which sluggishly flows through the Great Rift Valley. One hundred kilometres to the south is a bigger but vastly different lake. In the southern lake, there are no fish, no freshwater, no thriving communities, no sound of birds singing or children playing, no grand holiday homes. Here is the puzzle: both lakes are in the same country, same Great Rift Valley, and fed by the same Jordan River. So how can they be so different? The answer is disarmingly simple: for every drop of the Jordan that flows into the Sea of Galilee, another drop flows out. Yet for the other lake, for every drop of the Jordan it receives, it keeps. That’s why it is called Dead. Consider this great paradox between the two lakes and then ask yourself. Which kind of person am I? One like the Dead Sea? Or like the Sea of Galilee? Follow the latter and live. Walk through the Land 14 Sea of Galilee. | Photo: flickr Infamous Body of Water October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Kislev 5780 Sea of Galilee. | Photo: flickr Short News Flying Car It is no joke, there really is an Israeli company, NFT Inc., that has revealed a design for a flying car. The flying car is meant to be an alternative to the helicopter that is used by wealthy businessmen to avoid the busy car traffic. After a short flight – maximum 550 kilometres at a speed of 160 to 240 kilometres per hour – you can land, fold in the wings, and continue driving with your car. The price tag is somewhere between 200 and 300 thousand USD. | Photo: newatlas.com Man Finds 4,500- year-old treasure An electrician in the Israeli Arab village of Arraba found a prehistoric copper dagger blade and storage artefacts while walking down a dirt road on his way to a customer’s home. As he leaned against the mountain ridge, the rock crumbled, exposing ancient-looking storage jars and pouring vessels as well as a copper dagger blade previously attached to a wooden handle with nails. Israeli Technology Eases Lake Chad Crisis An Israeli invention that pulls water from air will be deployed in Lake Chad, Nigeria to ease the freshwater crisis. Lake Chad is the main source of drinking water for millions of people in Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. The Watergen atmospheric water generator extracts water from the air and purifies it. The portable unit needs only a source of power (solar, diesel or electric) and at least 30% humidity in the ambient air – not a problem in the hot, humid Chad Basin. 3D Printing Gives Israelis New Hands Israeli organisation Haifa 3D utilises cheap and cheerful technology to make ‘superhero’ bionic hands for adults and children. Superman, Spiderman, Hello Kitty or FC Barcelona? The option to customise and create colourful hands is just one of the advantages of using 3D printing technologies. Another is that the simple process results in a me chanical arm made of plastic. | Photo: Israel21c.org

22. 22 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Theology 10 Tzom Gedaliah Fast of the Seventh Month 2 October 2019 at sunrise A Jewish fast day to lament the assassination of the righteous governor of Judah of that name, which ended Jewish rule following the destruction of the First Temple. Shabbat Shuva Shabbat of Returning 4 October 2019 begins at sundown Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Only one Shabbat can occur between these dates. This Shabbat is named after the first word of the Haftarah (Hosea 14:2-10) and literally means ‘Return!’ Yom Kippur Day of Atonement 8-9 October 2019 sundown to sundown The holiest day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days. Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles 13-20 October 2019 sundown to sundown A Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei. It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Shemini Atzeret Eighth Day of Assembly 20-21 October 2019 sundown to sundown A Jewish holiday celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. In the Diaspora, an additional day is celebrated, the second day being separately referred to as Simchat Torah. In Israel and Reform Judaism, the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are combined into a single day and the names are used interchangeably. Yom HaAliyah Recognises Aliyah 4 November 2019 at sundown An Israeli national holiday celebrated to acknowledge Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish state, as a core value of the State of Israel, and to honour the ongoing contributions of Olim to Israeli society. Sigd 50 Days after Yom Kippur 26-27 November 2019 sundown to sundown A holiday celebrated by the Ethiopian Jewish community exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur, and according to Ethiopian Jewish tradition is also the date that God first revealed himself to Moses. Jewish Festivals Kees de Vreugd n Theologian | Christians for Israel International & Editor | Israel & the Church In this article, we continue our discussion of the ‘Twelve Theses of Faith on Israel’ published by Christians for Israel. Thesis 10: We believe that one day, Messiah will come to establish His worldwide Kingdom, then the bodily resurrection of the righteous dead will take place and they will reign with Christ in His Kingdom on earth. We, therefore, pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Elaboration: We pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and are longing for the great day of the Coming of the Prince of Peace to Jerusalem, when He will be sitting on the throne of His father David in Jerusalem and rule over the house of Jacob, being the twelve tribes of Israel, and of His Kingdom there will be no end. We fervently wait for the day that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, of which Jesus and the Apostles together with all the prophets of Israel have been speaking throughout the ages. Messiah will come and rule from sea to sea, from shore to shore – as far as nations will exist on the face of the earth. ‘He will be our Peace’ (Micah 5:1-4). Then the veil will be taken away from the eyes and the ears and the hearts of Israel, as well as the veil that has covered the face of the nations. Clarification: . In Acts 3:17-21, the Apostle Peter says: “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what He had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets.” Repent and turn to God in order that the times of refreshing will come! All prophets have spoken about the renewal of all things. First the restoration of the fallen tent of David (Amos 9:11) will take place and then the restoration of the nations, when the veil over their eyes will be lifted and the confusion will end. Finally, the Kingdom of Peace and Righteousness will come. God will reign through His Messiah. And the nations will praise this King coming from the line of King David. Psalm 72 speaks about it in beautiful terms, ending (verses 17-19): “May His Name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. Then all nations will be blessed through Him, and they will call Him blessed. Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to His glorious Name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.” The veil of Israel shall be taken away (2 Corinthians 3:12-16) as well as the veil that covers the nations (Isaiah 25:7). Ultimately Messiah will swallow up death itself forever (Isaiah 25:8). Comment: The church shares in the expectation of the Kingdom of God that was granted to Israel. The ancient Christian creeds (the Apostolic Creed and the Nicene Creed), however, are virtually silent about Israel. Yet, when we listen very carefully, we might hear hidden references to the Jewish origins of our faith when the language echoes the language of Scripture. The belief in the coming of Christ in glory is one of them: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end” (Nicene Creed). Surely, this is a clear reference to the words of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:32-33): “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Jesus will sit on the throne of His father, David. He is of royal ancestry, and He will reign over the House of Jacob. Though this part was left out of the ancient creed of the church, the words of the angel are very clear. Without a shadow of doubt, in biblical language the house of Jacob means the People of Israel. And so, there is no question as to where the throne of His father David should stand: in Jerusalem, the ancient and eternal capital of David, the heart of the land of Israel and the navel of the earth. In our days, we witness the Messiah gathering His people home to the promised land. The restoration of Israel entails the restoration of creation as a whole. Each and every nation will receive its own God-given portion and will come under the reign of Messiah, a reign of blessing and peace for everyone who recognises His kingship. Today, when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we may experience a taste of that peace. Let us pray, just as the Jews pray every day: “May Jerusalem be rebuilt speedily and in our days”. th 10 Thesis: Messiah Book Review By Enoch Lavendar In his latest book, Dr Kameel Majdali offers his readers a foundational understanding of the role and significance of Jerusalem – past, present and future. Throughout the book, he builds a solid case for why this small city, with no natural resources, occupies the hearts and minds of billions across the planet. He traces how this almost irrational international obsession is pulling the nations into position for the final End Time events. In a characteristically engaging style, Dr Kameel blends fascinating facts (e .g. Jerusalem city law mandates the use of ‘Jerusalem stone’ in all building facades) with prophetic insights (e.g. Jerusalem is indeed increasingly becoming a burdensome stone to all nations). While the subject matter may seem quite weighty (no pun intended!), the book is suitable not only for seasoned prophecy-watchers but also for those who are newcomers to the world of Bible prophecy. Chapter one, in particular, is excellent for beginners as it provides a panoramic overview of Bible history, combined with insights into the ongoin g nature of the covenants of God. Chapters two and four covers the history of Islam and Christianity in Jerusalem, and explore the reasons for the increasing modern-day controversy over Zion. Sandwiched between these chapters, Kameel has included a chapter on the remarkable modern-day rise of Christian pilgrimage to the land of Israel – especially among Protestant/ evangelical believers. The fifth chapter of the book provides fascinating insights into Jerusalem’s role in Islam and why it has become a focal point of conflict bet ween Israel and the Muslim world. While on this topic, Kameel also brings out thought- provoking spiritual insights into the true roots of the modern-day conflict. Chapter 6 starts off the final section of the book, which deals with the role of Jerusalem in Bible prophecy. This particular chapter focuses on Psalm 2, while chapter 7 focuses on the dramatic prophecies of Zechariah. Both chapters provide a grand - but readable and engaging - overview of End Time events. In chapters 8 and 9, Dr Kameel shifts his focus to the events occurring after Jesus’ second coming, and to the continued central role of Jerusalem even at that point in history. He speaks about Jerusalem in the Millenium and touches on the fascinating - and at times confusing - topic of the Temple during the 1000 year reign of Christ. Finally, in chapter 9, Dr Kameel turns to the topic of the New Jerusalem, and contrasts the glories of our heavenly home with the often-neglected topic of the Lake of Fire. Ending the book on these sobering topics, Kameel closes with a straightforward appeal to the reader, bringing the message from the realm of interesting facts and prophetic insights to the very personal question of the reader’s eternal destiny. All in all, ‘The Burdensome Stone: Jerusalem in the Last Days’ is a surprisingly readable book. While stuffed with facts and prophetic insights, the book brings clear and compelling personal applications, ultimately helping to prepare the reader for the ti mes that are ahead. Order from Vision Christian Store: https://store.vision.org.au. Search for The Burdensome Stone. The Burdensome Stone: Jerusalem in the Last Days by Kameel Majdali October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780

19. 11 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Speaking Event and 2020 Israel Tour Simcha is a Hebrew word meaning JOY, and there’s no missing the fact that it’s something God has in mind for His children! SIMCHA 2019 will thoroughly explore your prophetic role with an emphasis on action. Why? Because when you touch Israel with the Gospel, you touch all the nations of the earth! Worship with the Beit HaMashiach band. A children’s program will be provided. SATURDAY 30 NOVEMBER 2019 9am to 5pm New Hope Baptist Church 3 Springfield Rd, Blackburn North On Thursday 28 November and Friday 29 November , we will conduct a separate event — Experience Jewish Melbourne — which will include teaching on Jewish evangelism, tours of the Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Centre, a visit to an Orthodox synagogue to hear from a rabbi, and lunch at an Israeli cafe. FOR DETAILS AND BOOKING VISIT CELEBRATEMESSIAH.COM.AU — 03 9563 5544 “So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.” — romans 11:11 SCOTT BROWN CELEBRATE MESSIAH NEW ZEALAND DIRECTOR MATTHEW SHEPHERD CELEBRATE MESSIAH NEW ZEALAND STAFF LAWRENCE HIRSCH CELEBRATE MESSIAH DIRECTOR OZ SIMCHA flyer_A51.indd 1 9/6/19 8:10 AM SEE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR PHOTOS AND VIDEOS OF OUR PAST TOURS: facebook.com/visionchristiantours  EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST TODAY! PHONE ............... 1300 550 830 Call Olive T ree Travel , our expert travel agents EMAIL ............... info@olivetreetravel.com.au WEB .................... visiontours.org.au    13 NIGHTS IN ISRAEL & JORDAN YOU WILL NEVER FORGET! *Twin share. Includes return economy airfares+airport taxes, 4 star plus hotels, buffet breakfast and dinner each day and some lunches, site entry fees, luxury coaches and much more. Conditions apply . See the pages of your Bible come alive on this unique deluxe tour, as you praise Jesus in the places He... • calmed the storm • walked on water • fed 5000 • wept for the lost • healed, preached, prayed, died and rose again. Great Value for Money! $8590 * Per Person 24 FEB TO 10/17 MAR 2020 We are also offering an optional 7 day extension to Greece: • Visit Philippi where Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe • Walk through the Byzantine church of S t. Dimitrios • Experience the wonder of the Meteora Monasteries perched on top of huge rock s, which seem to be suspended in mid-air among striking scenery. • Explore the Temple of Apollo , the Treasury of the Athenians and the Theatre of the sanctuary • Ascend Mars Hill and view the Agora where P aul spoke to the ancient Athenians. • Fully guided in air-conditioned coaches and superior accommodation.

27. 27 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Kameel Majdali n Director | Teach All Nations Inc. It is not the biggest in the world - though it has impressive dimensions. It is not the most scenic - though it is picturesque and moving. The number of fish it contains cannot rival that of many other bodies of water, yet its fish are world-famous. Despite all this, it is the most famous body of water in the world. Though it is a lake, we call it the ‘Sea of Galilee.’ A Bible tour of the holy land is not complete without a visit to this majestic, natural tribute to the ministry of Jesus Christ. While called ‘Sea of Galilee’ five times in the New Testament (Matthew 4:18; 15:29; Mark 1:16; 7:31; John 6:31), it is also known as ‘Sea of Chinnereth (Numbers 34:11); Sea of Chinneroth (Joshua 12:3), and Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1). It’s Hebrew name is Kinneret, derived from the Hebrew word ‘kinnor’ which means ‘harp.’ Look at the lake on a map, and you’ll understand why. Its dimensions? The Sea of Galilee is 21 kilometres (13 miles long), 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) wide, 50 metres (164 feet) deep, 51 kilometres (32 miles) around the shore, 166 square kilometres surface (64 square miles) and 224 meters (734 feet) below sea level. Its fish content includes catfish and tilapia. While these dimensions may not impress compared to North America’s Great Lakes or Siberia’s Lake Baikal, the fact is its a fish-filled, freshwater lake in the arid Middle East - indeed, the only one. That alone makes the Sea of Galilee special. And there is more. The reason this lake is the most famous in the world, drawing hundreds of thousands of Christian pilgrims year-after-year, is because it was the stage for Jesus Christ’s ministry, particularly the North and North-Western shore. Though born in Bethlehem of Judea, Jesus was raised a Galilean in Nazareth. After commencing His ministry, He was rejected by the people of Nazareth and moved His headquarters to Capernaum on the northern shore of the lake. This move was a fulfilment of prophecy (Matthew 4:12-17). In Jesus’ day, there were up to seven cities on or near the lake, many with a population of 15,000 or more. These included Tiberias, Magdala, Gennesaret, Capernaum, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Hippos. Despite its long coastline, Jesus basically ministered in the NW shoreline of the lake, from Magdala to Bethsaida. The ultra-fertile Plain of Gennesaret, between Magdala and the Mount of Beatitudes, would have been very familiar to Him. It is subtropical, meaning, you can grow almost anything on it. This plain also was the location of the great Afro- Eurasian Highway, linking Africa with Asia and Europe. Jesus once visited the Gentile-inhabited, swine-herding, eastern shore of the lake to heal the man filled with a legion of demons. We now call this man the ‘Gadarene demoniac.’ Despite its proximity, it is possible Jesus never visited Tiberias, both because of its founder (Herod Antipas) and its unsavoury reputation and lifestyle. Consider the myriad of ministry activities that occurred near or on the Sea of Galilee, including: Ÿ Luke 5:4-9: Catching a big haul of fish; Ÿ Matthew 4:18-19: Disciples are called to follow Christ; Ÿ Matthew 5-7: Sermon on the Mount, the most famous message in history; Ÿ Mark 1:23-28: The Gadarene demoniac healed. Ÿ Matthew 8:14-15: Peter’s mother-in-law healed. Ÿ Matthew 11:20-24: Cities of Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida rebuked. Ÿ Mark 4:35-36: The Gadarene voyage; Ÿ Luke 8:23-25: The stilling of the storm on the Lake; Ÿ Mark 5:1-20: Gadarene demoniac healed; Ÿ Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:i30-44; Luke 9:11-17; John 6:1-14: The feeding of the 5,000 (the only miracle of Jesus mentioned in all four gospels). Ÿ Mark 6:45-52: Jesus walks on water; Ÿ Matthew 15:32-38: Feeding of the 4,000; Ÿ Mark 8:22-26: Blind man healed at Bethsaida. Even though twenty centuries have passed since the earthly ministry of Christ, a visit to the lake makes it feel as if time has stood still: the glittering water, the mauve hills, the serene atmosphere, the strangely familiar surroundings, all lend themselves to a moving experience as you recall these Biblical events on-site. Finally, there is a spiritual lesson to be learned. The Se a of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River which sluggishly flows through the Great Rift Valley. One hundred kilometres to the south is a bigger but vastly different lake. In the southern lake, there are no fish, no freshwater, no thriving communities, no sound of birds singing or children playing, no grand holiday homes. Here is the puzzle: both lakes are in the same country, same Great Rift Valley, and fed by the same Jordan River. So how can they be so different? The answer is disarmingly simple: for every drop of the Jordan that flows into the Sea of Galilee, another drop flows out. Yet for the other lake, for every drop of the Jordan it receives, it keeps. That’s why it is called Dead. Consider this great paradox between the two lakes and then ask yourself. Which kind of person am I? One like the Dead Sea? Or like the Sea of Galilee? Follow the latter and live. Walk through the Land 14 Sea of Galilee. | Photo: flickr Infamous Body of Water October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Kislev 5780 Sea of Galilee. | Photo: flickr Short News Flying Car It is no joke, there really is an Israeli company, NFT Inc., that has revealed a design for a flying car. The flying car is meant to be an alternative to the helicopter that is used by wealthy businessmen to avoid the busy car traffic. After a short flight – maximum 550 kilometres at a speed of 160 to 240 kilometres per hour – you can land, fold in the wings, and continue driving with your car. The price tag is somewhere between 200 and 300 thousand USD. | Photo: newatlas.com Man Finds 4,500- year-old treasure An electrician in the Israeli Arab village of Arraba found a prehistoric copper dagger blade and storage artefacts while walking down a dirt road on his way to a customer’s home. As he leaned against the mountain ridge, the rock crumbled, exposing ancient-looking storage jars and pouring vessels as well as a copper dagger blade previously attached to a wooden handle with nails. Israeli Technology Eases Lake Chad Crisis An Israeli invention that pulls water from air will be deployed in Lake Chad, Nigeria to ease the freshwater crisis. Lake Chad is the main source of drinking water for millions of people in Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. The Watergen atmospheric water generator extracts water from the air and purifies it. The portable unit needs only a source of power (solar, diesel or electric) and at least 30% humidity in the ambient air – not a problem in the hot, humid Chad Basin. 3D Printing Gives Israelis New Hands Israeli organisation Haifa 3D utilises cheap and cheerful technology to make ‘superhero’ bionic hands for adults and children. Superman, Spiderman, Hello Kitty or FC Barcelona? The option to customise and create colourful hands is just one of the advantages of using 3D printing technologies. Another is that the simple process results in a me chanical arm made of plastic. | Photo: Israel21c.org Anemone Rüger n Project Coordinator - Holocaust Survivors in Israel and Ukraine | Christians for Israel “Today is a very important day, maybe the most important day in my life,” said Natella Andrushenko, director of the Jewish School in Belaya Tserkov just south of Kiev on 27 August after the solemn dedication of a memorial to the first children murdered in the Holocaust on Ukrainian soil in the heart of the city. Natella had been rallying up support for the memorial for years. “For a long time, I made a big detour around this topic,” she said. “It’s not popular, and it was too difficult for me – many of my relatives are lying in the mass graves around here. But the children gave me no rest. It was as if their blood was still crying out.” Merely weeks after the German invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, the Einsatzgruppen of the SS started murdering the Jewish population of her town, once home to more than 20,000 Jewish residents. After the raid, 90 young children were left without relatives, kept without life support for two days in a locked building. Against the protest of the Wehrmacht leadership, the local SS squads had the children executed by local police officers. In the summer of 2018, Koen Carlier, director of Christians for Israel – Ukraine, and Johannes Zink, pastor of a non-denominational church in Heidelberg, Germany, participated in a modest groundbreaking ceremony for a memorial to these children not far from where they had been held. Now, one year later, Johannes brought a group from his church and a significant financial contribution for the opening of the memorial, which was attended by many officials including the chief rabbis of Ukraine and the Netherlands, a representative of the Israeli ambassador, the regional governor and the local mayor, as well as survivors and witnesses. “I am here to ask you for forgiveness for the pain, the suffering and the death our fathers and grandfathers brought to your city,” Johannes said as he was handed the microphone, kneeling before an open-air audience of some 500. “We want you to know that today we choose to stand with you, God’s chosen people...” “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel,” Roger van Oordt, director of Christians for Israel – Netherlands declared to the audience from the book of the prophet Ezekiel. Indeed, one week later Dasha, a gifted student of the Jewish School and daughter of our contact person Tanya, jo ined a group of excited Jewish kids at Kiev airport on their way to start a new life in Israel as part of the Na’aleh youth aliyah programme. She followed her aunt’s family and her grandparents, who made aliyah last year; her mother still runs the Jewish Agency office in Belaya Tserkov and helps Christians for Israel find, comfort and support Holocaust survivors and needy Jewish seniors in her city. On our route visiting needy babushky (grandmas) with food parcels in the surrounding villages, our team also knocked on the door of Olga’s tiny hut. We noted paint peeling off the walls as our eyes got used to the dim light inside the main room used as both bedroom and living room. The electricity had recently been cut off as she had not been able to pay her bills, Olga explained. She helped herself with an oil lamp that would sell well in a Western antique store. Wrapped in a headscarf, her face radiated a kindness that seemed to contrast the stark reality around her. As I held her hand asking about her family, Olga began to cry. “Mom gave me away,” she said in tears. “I was born in Kiev. Then they chased us to Babi Yar – mom, dad, my brother and me. At the last moment, mom was able to hand me to her friend Galya. Then they kept going. They were all shot. My Ukrainian mother brought me up; she saved my life.” We stood there in shock; our tears mingling with hers. How could it be that we found such a gem in such dirt after so many years? And yet we found her, 78 years after Babi Yar and Belaya Tserkov. “People may think, why bother, why invest in these people so late in their lives,” said Tanya, our local project coordinator. “But you are like a ray of sunshine, bringing hope back to their lives. Through your love, through your practical support, these survivors experience being important to someone, even someone from a different country, and so they can go from this world in peace and dignity.” Please help us to bring hope back into the lives of the survivors of the Holocaust by donating for food parcels. A food parcel costs AUD $15. Our Projects 15 Olga and the Children of Belaya Tserkov Olga, pictured with Anemone Rüger, is a holocaust survivor from a village near Belaya Tserkov. She was saved by a Ukrainian lady but still struggles for survival today. Despite massive protests preceding the event, some 500 locals a nd officials gathered in Belaya Tserkov on 27 August for the dedication of a memorial to the 90 first children who were murdered in the Holocaust on Ukrainian soil. October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Greetings to you from the City of David, Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! We hope and pray that this letter will find you well. We so appreciate your efforts to make the family camps project possible, and we thank the Lord for placing in on your heart. We thank the Lord for the results. One hundred eighty people joined in the family camps with their children. The families enjoyed the programme a lot, and they were very happy, thankful and satisfied together with their children! During our time together, we tried to help them both spiritually and physically as the Lord leads us to do! There was time for Bible study, singing, preaching, games for the children and a special programme for the ladies. We thank the Lord for the twelve people who raised their hands to trust the Lord for salvation, and for the ones who participated in the Bible studies! The brothers and sisters that went with us had a lovely and blessed time! You could see the joyful and radiant faces, and feel what this time of rest did in their lives! Thank you again for your support, and may the Lord bless you for making this possible! May the Lord bless your generosity, kindness and sacrifice to do His will! In Christ, Elvira & Naim Khoury First Baptist Church Bethlehem News from Bethlehem

2. 14 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Editorial 2 Colophon Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel Mission Our mission is to bring Biblical understanding in the Church and among the nations concerning God’s purposes for Israel and to promote comfort of Israel through prayer and action. Editorial Team Andrew Tucker International Editor-in-Chief atucker@c4israel.org Cathy Coldicutt Managing Editor newspaper@c4israel.org Marloes van Westing International Communications Manager international@c4israel.org Ian Worby, Bryce Turner, Rita Quartel, James Patrick, Marie-Louise Weissenböck and Marijke Terlouw Scripture references: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. C4I Offices Christians for Israel International Leon Meijer, Chairman Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer, President Rev. Cornelis Kant, Executive Director P.O. Box 1100 | 3860 BC Nijkerk, The Netherlands | Tel: +31 33 422 0405 info@c4israel.org | www.c4israel.org The English Edition of Israel & Christians Today is published by the following English speaking branches: Christians for Israel - Australia Ian Worby, National Leader PO Box 1508, Springwood Q ueensland, Australia 4127 Tel: +61 402 277 930, info@c4israel.com.au www.c4israel.com.au Christians for Israel - New Zealand Bryce Turner, National Executive Director PO Box 12 006, Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand 1642 Tel: +64 9 525 7564, info@c4israel.org.nz www.c4israel.org.nz Christians for Israel - United Kingdom PO Box 789, Sutton Coldfield West Midlands B73 5FX, United Kingdom Tel: +44 121 647 3710, ukinfo@c4israel.org Christians for Israel - USA Fred J van Westing, CEO PO Box 2589, Manteca, CA 95336, USA Tel/Fax: +1 209 665 4280 fredvanwesting@c4israel.org www.c4israel.us DISCLAIMER - Articles printed in Israel & Christians Today expr ess the views of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Editors or that of the Board of Christians for Israel. The printing of articles or advertising in Israel & Christians Today does not necessarily imply either endorsement or agreement. ©Christians for Israel International Reproduction, or storage in a retrieval system or in any other form, is prohibited without permission. Please contact the Managing Editor should you wish to syndicate or r epublish any articles or materials appearing in Israel & Christians Today. www.facebook.com/c4israel Prayer Points By Pieter Bénard Israel l ‘But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.”’ (Psalm 31:14). Pray that the elected members of the Knesset in the recent elections will quickly form a coalition of parties to form a government that will lead the country well at this crucial time in Israel’s history. � l Over the past several years, Iran has been trying to expand its influence in the Middle East, at times aggressively. Iran is also constantly at odds with the United States. In the past Iran has taken tensions with other countries out on Israel. Pray that Iran will not be able to harm Israel. l God’s Word speaks about the return of Israel (Aliyah) hundreds of times. Some keywords and phrases to look for include ‘restore’ (your fortunes), ‘bring back’ (to your land), and ‘return’ (to the Lord your God). Thank God for the continuing Aliyah. Israel & the Nations l Pray for the countries surrounding Israel: Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Pray that these countries may seek peace with Israel instead of war. Pray for the Christians in these countries, that they will not be discriminated against and that they will receive the strength from God to persevere in their faith. l Pray for the Jews who live outside Israel. Pray that, now that anti-Semitism is on the rise, that they will feel protected by God. l ‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” (Matthew 28:18). Give thanks that the nations do not hold the ultimate power in this world, but that King Jesus has the ultimate control. Christians for Israel l Give thanks for the very successful Christians for Israel training conference in Nepal. Approximately 200 pastors and church leaders from all over Nepal participated in this conference in June. Some had to travel for as long as 16 hours to attend. Pray that the pastors and church leaders may pass the message on. l “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and training in righteousness that the man of God may be competently equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16) Pray that Israel and the fulfilling of prophecies about Israel will be among the topics discussed at church activities, like Bible study groups, youth groups etc. l Pray that the mission of Christians for Israel, “to make Christians aware of the significance of the Jewish people in God’s dealings with the world”, will be understood and supported, not only by Christians but also by non-Christians. Pray that they will become curious about what we do and the source of our inspiration and strength – the Bible. � For daily Prayer Points, go to our website www.c4israel.com.au Spirit of Grace and Supplication Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel The Israeli elections on 17 September – the second elections in only six months - failed to produce a clear winner. The country is in a political stale mate, and no-one has a simple solution. The reign of PM Netanyahu – who has dominated Israeli politics for two decades – may be coming to an end. Never has the political leadership of the nation seemed so fractured. President Rivlin will need a lot of wisdom to navigate the nation through this crisis in leadership. But of course, we only see the outside – the visible manifestations of unseen realities. Like the reverse side of a tapestry, it all appears chaotic, frayed and unorganised. But the weaver of the tapestry is completing His perfectly designed creation. The prophet Zechariah, in chapters 12-13, speaks of the time when Jerusalem will become a “cup of trembling” and a “bur densome stone for all nations”, and the nations will come against Jerusalem. The Lord will intervene to save Judah and Jerusalem. After that, the Lord will cleanse the land of all uncleanness and idols. God is restoring Israel not because the Jewish people are perfect, nor to make them the most powerful nation on earth in their own strength, but in order to reveal His holy name to the nations. The nation of Israel will have to go through great difficulties when its situation looks hopeless, and it is unable to save itself. Only then can God show His greatness. “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 38:23). To be clear: we do not expect another holocaust. And it is not only Israel that will endure times of trial and tribulation. Many Christians too, tragically, will have to endure the time of tribulation ahead. But we do expect the Jewish people and the nation of Israel to face a crisis from within, and seemingly invincible opposition from without. Then will the nation turn to the Lord for its salvation. To achieve His goal, the Lord has said He has to do a number of things in the nation of Israel in the last days. First, He has to bring His people (all twelve tribes) back from the nations, plant them in the land, and settle them there. Second, He will bring up the nations against Jerusalem, only to save it and destroy Israel’s enemies. Third, he will give unity to the nation (this includes reuniting the two and ten tribes – the kingdoms of Judah and Israel). Fourth, He will cleanse it of all its idols and uncleanness, and pour on it a spirit of grace and supplication. There will be no true national unity without repentance, cleansing and supplication. Israel faces challenging times ahead. Israeli politics has became very polarised. Minority groups, like the ultra-orthodox haredi and the Arab Palestinians, have been stigmatised. If true national unity is to be achieved, Israel’s leaders must create a new political culture. This involves inclusion, rather than demonisation, of the wide diversity of groups that make up Israeli society. That is easier said than done, and will require a new spirit. We in the nations who have been saved by Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, have a calling not only to repent of our own sins but also to intercede on behalf of His people at this time of national crisis. Let us pray that the Lord will have His hand of grace over His people, protect them from their enemies, and give them the ‘spirit of grace a nd supplications’ that He has promised to pour out on them (Zechariah 12:10). Let us pray especially for President Reuven Rivlin, who plays a central role. He is a fourth-generation Jerusalemite, whose beloved wife recently passed away, and who has a special heart for his nation. In this edition of Israel & Christians Today, Alex Ryvchin, author of an important new book on Zionism, explains how the concept of Zionism has been distorted and misunderstood (pages 3 and 9). This has many forms, including the modern BDS movement (page 9) and the falsification of history, such as promotion of the idea that Jesus was a ‘Palestinian’ (page 12). On the other hand, there is a growing understanding in many nations, of the justice of the Jewish cause, and its importance both for the nations and the church today: Rwanda (see page 8), Romania (page 7), and Indonesia (page 8), to name some examples. President Reuven Rivlin, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, shake hands at the memorial ceremony for the late President Shimon Peres, in Jerusalem. | Photo: Flash90

3. 15 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Editorial 2 Colophon Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel Mission Our mission is to bring Biblical understanding in the Church and among the nations concerning God’s purposes for Israel and to promote comfort of Israel through prayer and action. Editorial Team Andrew Tucker International Editor-in-Chief atucker@c4israel.org Cathy Coldicutt Managing Editor newspaper@c4israel.org Marloes van Westing International Communications Manager international@c4israel.org Ian Worby, Bryce Turner, Rita Quartel, James Patrick, Marie-Louise Weissenböck and Marijke Terlouw Scripture references: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. C4I Offices Christians for Israel International Leon Meijer, Chairman Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer, President Rev. Cornelis Kant, Executive Director P.O. Box 1100 | 3860 BC Nijkerk, The Netherlands | Tel: +31 33 422 0405 info@c4israel.org | www.c4israel.org The English Edition of Israel & Christians Today is published by the following English speaking branches: Christians for Israel - Australia Ian Worby, National Leader PO Box 1508, Springwood Q ueensland, Australia 4127 Tel: +61 402 277 930, info@c4israel.com.au www.c4israel.com.au Christians for Israel - New Zealand Bryce Turner, National Executive Director PO Box 12 006, Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand 1642 Tel: +64 9 525 7564, info@c4israel.org.nz www.c4israel.org.nz Christians for Israel - United Kingdom PO Box 789, Sutton Coldfield West Midlands B73 5FX, United Kingdom Tel: +44 121 647 3710, ukinfo@c4israel.org Christians for Israel - USA Fred J van Westing, CEO PO Box 2589, Manteca, CA 95336, USA Tel/Fax: +1 209 665 4280 fredvanwesting@c4israel.org www.c4israel.us DISCLAIMER - Articles printed in Israel & Christians Today expr ess the views of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Editors or that of the Board of Christians for Israel. The printing of articles or advertising in Israel & Christians Today does not necessarily imply either endorsement or agreement. ©Christians for Israel International Reproduction, or storage in a retrieval system or in any other form, is prohibited without permission. Please contact the Managing Editor should you wish to syndicate or r epublish any articles or materials appearing in Israel & Christians Today. www.facebook.com/c4israel Prayer Points By Pieter Bénard Israel l ‘But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.”’ (Psalm 31:14). Pray that the elected members of the Knesset in the recent elections will quickly form a coalition of parties to form a government that will lead the country well at this crucial time in Israel’s history. � l Over the past several years, Iran has been trying to expand its influence in the Middle East, at times aggressively. Iran is also constantly at odds with the United States. In the past Iran has taken tensions with other countries out on Israel. Pray that Iran will not be able to harm Israel. l God’s Word speaks about the return of Israel (Aliyah) hundreds of times. Some keywords and phrases to look for include ‘restore’ (your fortunes), ‘bring back’ (to your land), and ‘return’ (to the Lord your God). Thank God for the continuing Aliyah. Israel & the Nations l Pray for the countries surrounding Israel: Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Pray that these countries may seek peace with Israel instead of war. Pray for the Christians in these countries, that they will not be discriminated against and that they will receive the strength from God to persevere in their faith. l Pray for the Jews who live outside Israel. Pray that, now that anti-Semitism is on the rise, that they will feel protected by God. l ‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” (Matthew 28:18). Give thanks that the nations do not hold the ultimate power in this world, but that King Jesus has the ultimate control. Christians for Israel l Give thanks for the very successful Christians for Israel training conference in Nepal. Approximately 200 pastors and church leaders from all over Nepal participated in this conference in June. Some had to travel for as long as 16 hours to attend. Pray that the pastors and church leaders may pass the message on. l “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and training in righteousness that the man of God may be competently equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16) Pray that Israel and the fulfilling of prophecies about Israel will be among the topics discussed at church activities, like Bible study groups, youth groups etc. l Pray that the mission of Christians for Israel, “to make Christians aware of the significance of the Jewish people in God’s dealings with the world”, will be understood and supported, not only by Christians but also by non-Christians. Pray that they will become curious about what we do and the source of our inspiration and strength – the Bible. � For daily Prayer Points, go to our website www.c4israel.com.au Spirit of Grace and Supplication Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel The Israeli elections on 17 September – the second elections in only six months - failed to produce a clear winner. The country is in a political stale mate, and no-one has a simple solution. The reign of PM Netanyahu – who has dominated Israeli politics for two decades – may be coming to an end. Never has the political leadership of the nation seemed so fractured. President Rivlin will need a lot of wisdom to navigate the nation through this crisis in leadership. But of course, we only see the outside – the visible manifestations of unseen realities. Like the reverse side of a tapestry, it all appears chaotic, frayed and unorganised. But the weaver of the tapestry is completing His perfectly designed creation. The prophet Zechariah, in chapters 12-13, speaks of the time when Jerusalem will become a “cup of trembling” and a “bur densome stone for all nations”, and the nations will come against Jerusalem. The Lord will intervene to save Judah and Jerusalem. After that, the Lord will cleanse the land of all uncleanness and idols. God is restoring Israel not because the Jewish people are perfect, nor to make them the most powerful nation on earth in their own strength, but in order to reveal His holy name to the nations. The nation of Israel will have to go through great difficulties when its situation looks hopeless, and it is unable to save itself. Only then can God show His greatness. “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 38:23). To be clear: we do not expect another holocaust. And it is not only Israel that will endure times of trial and tribulation. Many Christians too, tragically, will have to endure the time of tribulation ahead. But we do expect the Jewish people and the nation of Israel to face a crisis from within, and seemingly invincible opposition from without. Then will the nation turn to the Lord for its salvation. To achieve His goal, the Lord has said He has to do a number of things in the nation of Israel in the last days. First, He has to bring His people (all twelve tribes) back from the nations, plant them in the land, and settle them there. Second, He will bring up the nations against Jerusalem, only to save it and destroy Israel’s enemies. Third, he will give unity to the nation (this includes reuniting the two and ten tribes – the kingdoms of Judah and Israel). Fourth, He will cleanse it of all its idols and uncleanness, and pour on it a spirit of grace and supplication. There will be no true national unity without repentance, cleansing and supplication. Israel faces challenging times ahead. Israeli politics has became very polarised. Minority groups, like the ultra-orthodox haredi and the Arab Palestinians, have been stigmatised. If true national unity is to be achieved, Israel’s leaders must create a new political culture. This involves inclusion, rather than demonisation, of the wide diversity of groups that make up Israeli society. That is easier said than done, and will require a new spirit. We in the nations who have been saved by Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, have a calling not only to repent of our own sins but also to intercede on behalf of His people at this time of national crisis. Let us pray that the Lord will have His hand of grace over His people, protect them from their enemies, and give them the ‘spirit of grace a nd supplications’ that He has promised to pour out on them (Zechariah 12:10). Let us pray especially for President Reuven Rivlin, who plays a central role. He is a fourth-generation Jerusalemite, whose beloved wife recently passed away, and who has a special heart for his nation. In this edition of Israel & Christians Today, Alex Ryvchin, author of an important new book on Zionism, explains how the concept of Zionism has been distorted and misunderstood (pages 3 and 9). This has many forms, including the modern BDS movement (page 9) and the falsification of history, such as promotion of the idea that Jesus was a ‘Palestinian’ (page 12). On the other hand, there is a growing understanding in many nations, of the justice of the Jewish cause, and its importance both for the nations and the church today: Rwanda (see page 8), Romania (page 7), and Indonesia (page 8), to name some examples. President Reuven Rivlin, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, shake hands at the memorial ceremony for the late President Shimon Peres, in Jerusalem. | Photo: Flash90 “Netanyahu has the best chance to form a government”, he said. The deadline will be 24 October. The political situation is complicated by the fact that on 2 October the Attorney General (Avichai Mandelblit) is due to decide whether to indict Netanyahu on corruption charges. So far Blue and White leader Benny Ganz and other prominent politicians of the new party have ruled out cooperation with Likud as long as Netanyahu is the leader of the party and subject to possible indictment. Prominent Likud members have indicated that they have no intention to drop Netanyahu as party leader and with that, the formation of a government of national unity looks an extremely complicated matter. Should Netanyahu be indicted, prominent Likud members will probably be more open to the idea of appointing a new party leader. It is unlikely either party will be willing to form a government with the united Arab list. For tactical reasons, ten members of the united Arab list took the unusual step to recommend a Zionist party leader for the task of building a workable government. The third-largest party in Israel decided on 23 September to recommend Benny Ganz in order to thwart the possibility that Netanyahu would receive a majority of recommendations. Likud shares Blue and White’s view about forming a government with the Arab parties and will under no circumstances form a coalition with Arab parties that are considered hostile to the Jewish state. Yisrael Beiteinu is, therefore, expected to assume the role of kingmaker in the coalition forming process once again. Blue and White does not have any essentially different positions on national security than Likud, and this is still the most important issue in Israeli politics. Ganz is in favour of continuing the Israeli policy towards Iran and also doesn’t oppose the introduction of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. Blue and White are, however, against Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish villages and towns in Judea and Samaria, the so- called West Bank and still supports the so- called Two-State-Solution. The forming of a workable coalition could take at least until the end of December. This would mean that Israel will only see a new government at the beginning of 2020. If neither Netanyahu or Gantz is able to form a workable coalition, Israel will have to go back to the polls - yet again. News 3 Terror Now Coming Through the Mail Terrorists in Gaza know how to find their way to the online shops too. From all over the world, all sorts of things are ordered. The list of items the Israeli postal services don’t forward is steadily growing, especially in recent years. Some of those items could be used for terror. Drones, night-glasses, compasses, mini cameras, and advanced diving gear are only a few of the articles on the list. Initially, the items on the list and in the mail were limited to predefined equipment for digging tunnels. Currently the rules are applied to much more advanced equipment that can be used for terror attacks . Ghetto Currency Devaluated Of all ghettos, concentration camps and extermination camps in Europe during the Holocaust, Theresienstadt was most remarkable. It was a “showcase” for the outside world, meant to spin a web of lies for suspicious organisations and people: Jews had a roof over their heads, employment and they even had the use of leisure. Nothing was further from the truth. Theresienstadt even had its own currency – also to pull the wool over the eyes of the outside world. Every Jew had to exchange all his money and sometimes his property as well for this currency. Ruth Brass owned six banknotes from Theresienstadt - that belonged to her father Lionel Schalit, a well-known Zionist. She donated the notes to the national library. The library in its turn is pleased with the donation because with it the documentation of the Holocaust is strengthened. Volunteer Honoured A volunteer from Zaka, an Israeli organisation that helps those caught up in disasters, was decorated by Guatemala for his work, as ‘Ambassador of Peace’. Volunteer Shay Salamon is assisting two local Zaka branches in Guatemala, active since the volcano erupted in the summer of 2018. | Photo: Zaka Short News October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Alex Ryvchin n Co-Chief Executive Officer | Executive Council of Australian Jewry The Arab-Israeli conflict traverses many decades and manifests in regular wars, terrorism and endless political skirmishes on international forums. It is also a battle to establish narratives – victims and aggressors, Davids and Goliaths, oppressors and the oppressed. Language and the meaning given to basic concepts form a key part of the battle. Jewish people can justly establish a claim to the territory known as Judea and Samaria. While the later formulation ‘West Bank,’ coined by the Jordanians following their occupation of the area in 1948 is a bland geographic descriptor that strips the territory of its historical significance. The Associated Press recently stumbled into the morass of political language when it declined to identify the men who tortured and killed Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972 as Palestinian terrorists, instead calling them ‘guerillas’ and ‘gunmen.’ And there is no term in the vernacular of the conflict that is misapplied and distorted more than ‘Zionism.’ Zionism, correctly understood, refers simply to the return of Jewish people to ‘Zion,’ one of several names given to Jerusalem and the surrounding lands in which the Jews lived and governed in ancient times. In the late 19th century, the idea of returning to those lands shifted from a seemingly intangible ideal and a wistful age-old expression of yearning for freedom to a precise, secular, politic al movement. Zionism aimed to reconstitute a Jewish state in the territory the Jews knew as ‘Eretz Yisrael’ (The Land of Israel), which had been renamed ‘Palestine’ following the suppression of the final Jewish rebellion by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the year 135 CE. The Balfour Declaration, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 (II), and a succession of binding instruments of international law from the San Remo Resolution to the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, had all recognised that the Jews were a distinct people with an unbroken connect ion to the land and a right to reform their state in some part of that land. Zionism, therefore, was the foundational movement of the modern state of Israel. As such, those determined to erase an autonomous Jewish presence from the Middle East have assessed that if they can succeed in depicting Zionism as something loathsome and unjust, the case for Israel can be dramatically undermined. The contemporary campaign to distort the meaning of Zionism and to associate it with popular concepts of evil largely has its origins in the rapid deterioration of Soviet-Israeli relations, which conditioned attitudes to Israel in the political left. Zionism was once celebrated by the left as an organic movement of national return and a model for national liberation and decolonisation movements throughout the world. Israel’s victory in its War of Independence and refusal to succumb to far mightier foes was positively awe-inspiring to adherents of political movements predicated on toppling structures of power. As chronicled by Philip Mendes in his study of Zionism and the political left, “all international communist parties supported partition and the creation of a Jewish State.” The US Communist Party called Israel “an organic part of the world struggle for peace and democracy,” while the French Communists viewed the Jewish fighters as the comrades of resistance fighters throughout the world. But as Israel charted its own course, emerged from its wars economically and militarily superior to the Arabs, and became more ambitious and assertive in how it conducted its security affairs, the support of the Soviet Union and the international left entered a sharp decline, followed by a complete reversal. As the Cold War set in, Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, assured the US Ambassador that Israel was “western in its orientation, its people are democratic, and realise that only through the co-operation and support of the US can they become strong and remain free.” Israel’s ‘western orientation’ became abundantly clear to the Soviet Union when Israel joined Britain and France in the Suez Campaign in 1956 to liberate a key maritime route linking Asia to Europe amidst threats to nationalise the canal by Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser, a key Soviet ally. The campaign, seen by Moscow as a direct threat to its strategic power i n the Middle East, sent the Soviets into a state of foaming apoplexy, resulting in threats to deploy nuclear weapons against the British and French and to annihilate Israel entirely. The Soviet Union had already cut diplomatic relations with Israel in February 1953, only weeks before the death of Stalin and after a period of rapid escalation of state anti-Semitism, culminating in the notorious ‘Doctors’ Plot,’ in which Jewish doctors in the Soviet Union were accused of plotting to poison Party officials. Red Terror: How the Soviet Shaped Modern Anti-Zionist Discourse Continued on page 9 Continued from page 1 | Photo: flickr

7. 19 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Biblical Reflection 6 The Outcry - Psalm 2 - Part 7a Johannes Gerloff n Theologian, Journalist, Lecturer & Author This article is the seventh instalment (split into 2 parts) in a series of contributions to the interpretation of Psalm 2. The Anointed Servant of the Lord in Psalm 2 does not accept the terrible task of smashing the nations with an iron rod (verse 9), without emotions. He cries out: “Be reasonable, kings! Be warned, judges of the earth” (verse 10). Messiah calls upon the mighty of the world: “Aim your reason for this, bring this to your understanding!” He asks them to hold on and to show intelligence and discernment. Historically, Radak assigns this statement to David, the son of Ishai, who, one thousand years before our era, called this out to the Philistine kings who had assembled to fight against him. However, this call to accept reason in the face of the living God, pervades the millennia up to the present time, wherever the people of Israel have fulfilled their prophetic calling. Rashi remarks at this point: “The prophets of Israel are merciful people. They exhort the nations of the world to depart from their wickedness, because the Holy One, blessed be He, extends His hand to the evil and the righteous alike.” Prophets who were connected to the heartbeat of their God never surrendered without contradiction to an announcement of judgment. Fatalism is alien to biblical revelation. Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Jeremiah and Daniel are but a few for whom a word of judgment was the occasion to contradict God, to negotiate with Him. The foremost task of a prophet has always been intercession before God and then, quite naturally, the pleading call to repentance to those for whom judgment threatens. Even today, rabbis assume that only the good promises of God are incontrovertible. When God predicts evil, misfortune is not inevitable. God is always open to considering the repentance of a sinner and is even ready to change His mind. Abraham Ibn Ezra observes the poetic structure of Psalm 2 stating: “The ‘Be reasonable!’ [in verse 10] stands opposite to the ‘Against the Lord’ [in verse 2]. The ‘judges’ are parallel to the ‘kings’ because, in fact, the king’s main task was to judge the people.” Samson Raphael Hirsch, in his unique way of interpretations, is able to shine light on many subtleties of the Hebrew language. He also draws attention to certain intertwining within this psalm which can only be understood in Hebrew: The (hivasru), ‘Be warned!’ is to be understood as: “Submit yourselves to the (musar), instruction and discipline”. And Ibn Ezra observes that the (hivasru) is the opposite of ‘their bonds’ (mosrotemo), which the Gentile nations and their rulers seek to throw away in verse 3. The message of this psalm is poetically woven into the choice of vocabulary and the use of the word roots. He shows through sound-like and related words that ‘repentance’ is a deliberate about- face, a conscious turn against the current with which one has previously swum. Such a U-turn is even able to change an established and publicly proclaimed decision of God Himself. Amos Hakham emphasises: “Even though the Lord has given authority to [the messianic Servant of the Lord] to destroy [the rebellious nations], he has no pleasure in their demise. Rather, he wants them to go the right way.” The God of Israel seeks the insight, the repentance and the healing of the one who has gone astray. Biblical prophecy is always a call to repentance. Therefore, in Scripture the forecasts of judgment are never unconditional and irreversible. This heartbeat of God and His confidants is already audible in the first words of Psalm 2. Luther writes: “For the prophet too, as though he were deeply sorry for their iniquity, starts with a question, namely: ‘Why do they rage?’ Why do they expose themselves as an object of mockery? Why do these fools intend impossible things? Oh, that they would come to their senses and become wise.” And Radak paraphrases the basic message of the psalmist: “Realise that you have not the slightest chance to reverse the doing of God. He commanded me to be king. How can you turn ‘against the Lord’? Come to your senses! Take it to heart! For you cannot thwart the work of the Lord.” Martin Luther furthermore observes the moral courage of the Messiah: “How bold and how – as we might say nowadays – agitating and infuriating is this exceedingly insolent prophet, who puts his mouth in the sky, daring to attack not the lowest and the common people but the highest heads and even kings, to teach those who are bumptious by their title and office as teachers of the people, and certainly because of the custom and the honor which they deserve according to their delusion ( opinionis honore) may not suffer this exceedingly great insult.” “Serve the Lord with fear”, the Anointed One of Israel challenges those nations who are united against the Lord: “Rejoice with trembling!” (verse 11). Align your plans with His will, “want what He wants and serve Him! Fear Him and know that He is entitled to power and might, and not you who assembled with a large crowd” (Radak). Luther dares to object: “That is a strange saying and in our eyes weird. For fear causes hatred and fleeing, not service (famulatum), and trembling is totally contrary to the joy.” But as contradictory as this may seem to modern man, Paul already knew: “His compassion for you is overwhelming, when he thinks of all your obedience, as you have received him with fear and trembling” (2 Cor 7:15 ). And Rashi recalls Isaiah 33:14, which also talks of a trembling that seizes the apostates. Ultimately, this fear leads to cheers and joy, “if your service is to the Lord.” In an excellent way Hirsch sums up this spiritual principle: “The Gila [= joy] that grows of Reada [= fear and trembling] and is based on Reada is the highest bliss, of which a creature that is talented with awareness before its Creator, of which a human being is capable before his God.” The full text of this article, including extensive footnotes, can be found at www.c4israel.org/teaching-articles/ Three Jewish men praying at sunset | Photo: Shutterstock Short News Drilling Rigs Underway Mid-July 2019, the first of five production platforms for natural gas was towed from Texas USA to Israel. This summer the remaining platforms will follow. The enormous platforms weigh 38,000 metric tons each and will be lifted onto already fitted pillar foundations. An operation that will take four weeks in total. Once in position, the platforms will process natural gas from the biggest offshore Israeli gas field, the Leviathan gas field, for the Israeli market. | Photo: Noble Energy Unsafe in Europe Jewish inhabitants of Europe, especially teenagers and young adults, are considering moving elsewhere because they feel unsafe. This is evident from a report by the European Commission which states that 41% (in the 16 to 34- year age group) are considering emigration; 45% intentionally choose not to wear recognisable Jewish items for fear of safety. Jordanian Books Inferior Jordanian textbooks were partially improved in the last few years. Tolerance and moderate Islam receive more attention, but as far as the image of Israel is concerned, there is not much good news. The survey reports that Israel is “mainly described as a Zionist entity without rights or history.” Safe Beach Thirteen beaches near Tel Aviv got a blue flag. The flag is awarded to beaches that meet the highest international standards concerning safety, beauty and accessibility for disabled persons and environmental protection. | Photo: Flash90 Facebook Induces Depression Israeli research shows results that are not favourable for Facebook lovers. The study shows that lounging around for fifteen minutes on Facebook is enough to increase the chances of getting depression. The reason is that Facebook affects people’s self-respect. October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 C4I Happenings 7 Tudor Pețan n President | Alfa Omega TV, Romania Among the first thematic TV series produced by our studio 20 years ago was The Final Countdown. Together with our guests on each show, we analysed the signs of the end times and the returning of the Lord Jesus, relying on the passages of Scripture found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. Then, 12 years ago, we began a strategic partnership with Christians for Israel International. Along with the publication of literature in Romania to dispel ‘replacement theology’, we began to organise annual ‘Prayer for Israel’ conferences in Romania. Understanding the times has been a central subject regardless of the specific theme of each edition. We never risked then, nor even now, to propose any hypotheses or calculations of time, being mindful that “...about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,” Matthew 24:36. A first category of signs, which we considered merel y ‘ the beginning of birth pains’ , accentuated that ‘the pains’ became acute and grew in frequency: wars and rumours of wars, persecution, terrorism, earthquakes and other unusual natural phenomenon, disease and epidemics difficult to control, false teachings and lying prophets, political and religious leaders who lead many astray, corruption and a lack of loyalty and honour, a falling away from the faith or a ‘lukewarm’ state, the abounding of transgressions, attacks on the family and life given by God, the diminishing of love. Afterwards, we see the expansion of g lobalisation for which we are given rational arguments concerning security, protection from terrorism, a more rational administration of resources, population control, health, free travel, education, communication means, finances, freedom of religious expression. Notions such as ‘political correctness’, ecumenism, anti-discrimination, and ‘hate crime’ have worked their way into our everyday language, causing one’s faith to be practised privately behind closed doors, ‘human rights’ replacing God’s commands. These realities take on new meaning if we view them from a biblical perspective: the alliances between nations and leaders, the radicalisation of Islam, the evolution of Turkey, Brexit and a new dynamic among nations, the secularisation of Europe and a growing spirit of populist nationalism the positioning of Russia, nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea, China’s rise and the ‘back to Jerusalem’ movement, violent persecution against Christians, and the Syrian and Middle East conflicts. Whole chapters in the Bible beg to be re-read and understood: Isaiah 17 (about Damascus), Isaiah 19 (Egypt, Assyria, Israel) Ezekiel 36-38 (the restoration of Israel, Gog, Magog, Gomer, and the judgment of the nations). A second category of signs of the times includes the restoration of Israel and the spreading of the Gospel. Israel ‘sprouts leaves’, grows and even blossoms. There is great evidence of explosive economic growth, as well as in areas of infrastructure, agriculture, science, research, IT, the military and information. And all of this happening under conditions of maximum hostility: Ÿ amplification of anti-Semitism Ÿ economic and commercial boycotts Ÿ political resolutions against Israel Ÿ the intensified struggle for Jerusalem Ÿ the increase of internal and external violence In Mark 13 we are urged to keep our eyes on the ‘fig tree’, with the immediate interpretation: “As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that He is near, right at the door.” Mark 13:28-29 Whole paragraphs in Romans 11 intensify this urging upon us as Christians, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,” Romans 11:25. How close are we to the moment that the number of Gentiles which will enter the Kingdom is complete? I be lieve we are at the beginning of a final intense harvest, a spreading of the Gospel message in places where it was not previously possible until now. Muslims are already exposed to the Gospel in Europe and among their own population with supernatural appearances of Christ. Powerful works are taking place in India, China and Asia, where there is a great opening for the work of the Holy Spirit among Catholics (including those in Romania) and the Orthodox. Revival is growing even in North Korea, the nation that is the most closed to the Gospel (Open Doors 2016 report). The Lord is breaching b orders by mobilising prayer and intercessory networks in all the world. On a recent broadcast of Alfa Omega TV, one pastor told about a young lady from his church who began to study Korean at university trusting that she will soon be able to minister in Korea the moment the walls come down. Because “the gospel must first be preached to all nations”. Mark 13:10 In this intense preaching, for the final harvest, the Lord wants to use every believer in his area of influence: every missionary, church, organisation, and media entity to strategically win communities, cities, and nations. Holy Spirit activates people of prayer and intercession, with strategic piercing prayers and prophetic proclamations. In this context, the spiritual partnership of 12 years between Christians for Israel International and Alfa Omega TV takes on a greater importance for the Romanian nation: a divine partnership “for a time such as this...” The Lord uses mass-media; video resources; printed materials (Alfa Omega TV has published seven books and booklets of Christians for Israel International); new technology and new-media coverage globally as well as for penetrating areas which are inaccessible by using classical means. In mass-media, in the work of the Church, and in personal ministry we need to be open to new modes of operation. Just like the last fishing expedition on Lake Tiberias, following Jesus’ resurrection, He doesn’t ask us to change the direction of the boat (that is, our vision) but merely to throw out the net in a different way, on the other side, the right side of the boat. This instruction comes to us after a whole lifetime as ‘fishers of men’ who have been readying the boat and its position in order to throw the net over the left side of the boat. W e thank the Lord for all He brings to Romania through Christians for Israel International and through other pro- Israel media voices; this helps us to understand the times, anticipating His Second Coming and ushering in the moment by spreading the Good News to every creature. Romania - Understanding the Times Tudor Petan, Rev Willem Glashouwer and Victor Otet (representative of Orthodox Churches in Romania) at the Alfa Omega studios. October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Italians Visit Ukraine Koen Carlier n Christians for Israel Ukraine From 10-19 August 12 Italians went to Ukraine for a working trip. Most of the participants, including six young adults, were in Ukraine for the first time. The trip was organised at the request of Edda Fogarollo, who has been responsible for Christians for Israel in Italy since 2011. The programme included a visit to a Jewish mass grave, a visit to the Jewish school in Bela Tserkva, the packing and handing out of 1,000 food parcels and listening to the stories of Holocaust survivors in different stettls (villages where many Jews used to live). In small groups they visited some elderly people in their homes, met a rabbi who fled from Donetsk because of the war and finally made a three-day visit to Odessa; a large port city on the Black Sea with a rich Jewish history. The Italian group visited the Holocaust Museum in Odessa. The museum has a scale model of nine large warehouses, where more than 23,000 Jews from Odessa were burned alive. One Jewish man who survived this tragedy as a small child recently passed away. Apartment buildings have now been built in the area, as well as a memorial, reminding visitors of the horrible events that took place there. The group visited Tikva (meaning ‘hope’), an organisation in Odessa which works together with Christians for Israel, taking care of Jewish orphans and children who come from broken families. They offer them the chance of a good education and many go on to Israel with an Aliyah Study Programme. At one of the Jewish schools, the group unloaded 500 food parcels and distributed them to a number of Jewish families. The group also visited the local Jewish Agency, who were very informative. The head of the Jewish Agency, Shmuel Shpak, said there are still 30,000 Jews in Odessa, with regular direct flights from Odessa to Tel Aviv with ‘Olim’ (immigrants to Israel). The group met with some Jewish families who were to make Aliyah at the end of August. These families explained why they had decided to leave Ukraine and how much time they had spent arranging their documents. A number of young families will integrate into Israel through the First Home in the Homeland programme, where they will receive an intensive Hebrew course during the first five months. During a Shabbat meal, the group met Loeba, a Jewish woman, visiting Odessa after making Aliyah 30 years ago with her one-year-old daughter. She told us how her father had survived the Pechora Concentration Camp and that she made Aliyah to raise her four children in a free country as a Jewish family. The group told Loeba their story and the history of Christians for Israel, which was founded in the Netherlands, almost 40 years ago. Suddenly she interrupted them and said: “When I made Aliyah and arrived with thousands of other Olim from the Northern country [former Soviet Union] to Israel, we lived in caravans for a few years, due to the lac k of houses. The area was called ‘Hollanddorp’ (Holland Village). Does this have anything to do with you?” We explained that this was indeed a project of Christians for Israel in the early 1990s. ‘Hollanddorp’ was built in the hills near Bethlehem to help newcomers with shelter and integration. The Italian group with some of the olim that will soon go to Israel

23. 23 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Theology 10 Tzom Gedaliah Fast of the Seventh Month 2 October 2019 at sunrise A Jewish fast day to lament the assassination of the righteous governor of Judah of that name, which ended Jewish rule following the destruction of the First Temple. Shabbat Shuva Shabbat of Returning 4 October 2019 begins at sundown Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Only one Shabbat can occur between these dates. This Shabbat is named after the first word of the Haftarah (Hosea 14:2-10) and literally means ‘Return!’ Yom Kippur Day of Atonement 8-9 October 2019 sundown to sundown The holiest day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days. Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles 13-20 October 2019 sundown to sundown A Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei. It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Shemini Atzeret Eighth Day of Assembly 20-21 October 2019 sundown to sundown A Jewish holiday celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. In the Diaspora, an additional day is celebrated, the second day being separately referred to as Simchat Torah. In Israel and Reform Judaism, the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are combined into a single day and the names are used interchangeably. Yom HaAliyah Recognises Aliyah 4 November 2019 at sundown An Israeli national holiday celebrated to acknowledge Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish state, as a core value of the State of Israel, and to honour the ongoing contributions of Olim to Israeli society. Sigd 50 Days after Yom Kippur 26-27 November 2019 sundown to sundown A holiday celebrated by the Ethiopian Jewish community exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur, and according to Ethiopian Jewish tradition is also the date that God first revealed himself to Moses. Jewish Festivals Kees de Vreugd n Theologian | Christians for Israel International & Editor | Israel & the Church In this article, we continue our discussion of the ‘Twelve Theses of Faith on Israel’ published by Christians for Israel. Thesis 10: We believe that one day, Messiah will come to establish His worldwide Kingdom, then the bodily resurrection of the righteous dead will take place and they will reign with Christ in His Kingdom on earth. We, therefore, pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Elaboration: We pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and are longing for the great day of the Coming of the Prince of Peace to Jerusalem, when He will be sitting on the throne of His father David in Jerusalem and rule over the house of Jacob, being the twelve tribes of Israel, and of His Kingdom there will be no end. We fervently wait for the day that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, of which Jesus and the Apostles together with all the prophets of Israel have been speaking throughout the ages. Messiah will come and rule from sea to sea, from shore to shore – as far as nations will exist on the face of the earth. ‘He will be our Peace’ (Micah 5:1-4). Then the veil will be taken away from the eyes and the ears and the hearts of Israel, as well as the veil that has covered the face of the nations. Clarification: . In Acts 3:17-21, the Apostle Peter says: “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what He had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets.” Repent and turn to God in order that the times of refreshing will come! All prophets have spoken about the renewal of all things. First the restoration of the fallen tent of David (Amos 9:11) will take place and then the restoration of the nations, when the veil over their eyes will be lifted and the confusion will end. Finally, the Kingdom of Peace and Righteousness will come. God will reign through His Messiah. And the nations will praise this King coming from the line of King David. Psalm 72 speaks about it in beautiful terms, ending (verses 17-19): “May His Name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. Then all nations will be blessed through Him, and they will call Him blessed. Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to His glorious Name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.” The veil of Israel shall be taken away (2 Corinthians 3:12-16) as well as the veil that covers the nations (Isaiah 25:7). Ultimately Messiah will swallow up death itself forever (Isaiah 25:8). Comment: The church shares in the expectation of the Kingdom of God that was granted to Israel. The ancient Christian creeds (the Apostolic Creed and the Nicene Creed), however, are virtually silent about Israel. Yet, when we listen very carefully, we might hear hidden references to the Jewish origins of our faith when the language echoes the language of Scripture. The belief in the coming of Christ in glory is one of them: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end” (Nicene Creed). Surely, this is a clear reference to the words of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:32-33): “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Jesus will sit on the throne of His father, David. He is of royal ancestry, and He will reign over the House of Jacob. Though this part was left out of the ancient creed of the church, the words of the angel are very clear. Without a shadow of doubt, in biblical language the house of Jacob means the People of Israel. And so, there is no question as to where the throne of His father David should stand: in Jerusalem, the ancient and eternal capital of David, the heart of the land of Israel and the navel of the earth. In our days, we witness the Messiah gathering His people home to the promised land. The restoration of Israel entails the restoration of creation as a whole. Each and every nation will receive its own God-given portion and will come under the reign of Messiah, a reign of blessing and peace for everyone who recognises His kingship. Today, when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we may experience a taste of that peace. Let us pray, just as the Jews pray every day: “May Jerusalem be rebuilt speedily and in our days”. th 10 Thesis: Messiah Book Review By Enoch Lavendar In his latest book, Dr Kameel Majdali offers his readers a foundational understanding of the role and significance of Jerusalem – past, present and future. Throughout the book, he builds a solid case for why this small city, with no natural resources, occupies the hearts and minds of billions across the planet. He traces how this almost irrational international obsession is pulling the nations into position for the final End Time events. In a characteristically engaging style, Dr Kameel blends fascinating facts (e .g. Jerusalem city law mandates the use of ‘Jerusalem stone’ in all building facades) with prophetic insights (e.g. Jerusalem is indeed increasingly becoming a burdensome stone to all nations). While the subject matter may seem quite weighty (no pun intended!), the book is suitable not only for seasoned prophecy-watchers but also for those who are newcomers to the world of Bible prophecy. Chapter one, in particular, is excellent for beginners as it provides a panoramic overview of Bible history, combined with insights into the ongoin g nature of the covenants of God. Chapters two and four covers the history of Islam and Christianity in Jerusalem, and explore the reasons for the increasing modern-day controversy over Zion. Sandwiched between these chapters, Kameel has included a chapter on the remarkable modern-day rise of Christian pilgrimage to the land of Israel – especially among Protestant/ evangelical believers. The fifth chapter of the book provides fascinating insights into Jerusalem’s role in Islam and why it has become a focal point of conflict bet ween Israel and the Muslim world. While on this topic, Kameel also brings out thought- provoking spiritual insights into the true roots of the modern-day conflict. Chapter 6 starts off the final section of the book, which deals with the role of Jerusalem in Bible prophecy. This particular chapter focuses on Psalm 2, while chapter 7 focuses on the dramatic prophecies of Zechariah. Both chapters provide a grand - but readable and engaging - overview of End Time events. In chapters 8 and 9, Dr Kameel shifts his focus to the events occurring after Jesus’ second coming, and to the continued central role of Jerusalem even at that point in history. He speaks about Jerusalem in the Millenium and touches on the fascinating - and at times confusing - topic of the Temple during the 1000 year reign of Christ. Finally, in chapter 9, Dr Kameel turns to the topic of the New Jerusalem, and contrasts the glories of our heavenly home with the often-neglected topic of the Lake of Fire. Ending the book on these sobering topics, Kameel closes with a straightforward appeal to the reader, bringing the message from the realm of interesting facts and prophetic insights to the very personal question of the reader’s eternal destiny. All in all, ‘The Burdensome Stone: Jerusalem in the Last Days’ is a surprisingly readable book. While stuffed with facts and prophetic insights, the book brings clear and compelling personal applications, ultimately helping to prepare the reader for the ti mes that are ahead. Order from Vision Christian Store: https://store.vision.org.au. Search for The Burdensome Stone. The Burdensome Stone: Jerusalem in the Last Days by Kameel Majdali October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Theology 11 Kees de Vreugd n Theologian | Christians for Israel International & Editor | Israel & the Church Shemini Atzeret Seven days is the feast of Succoth, the Feast of Tabernacles. On the eighth day, the Bible tells us, there shall be a ‘holy convocation’ (Leviticus 23:36). In Jewish tradition, this day is called Shemini Atzeret (Eighth Day of Assembly), after Numbers 29:35. The Hebrew ‘Atzeret’ is translated as solemn or closing assembly. Outside Israel, one day is added to every Jewish feast to make sure that celebration in the diaspora would not deviate from celebration in Jerusalem. The Passover meal, for example, is held on two subsequent eveni ngs. This goes back to ancient times, before there was a fixed calendar, when the days of the festivals were determined by observing the moon in Jerusalem. Likewise, Shemini Atzeret is observed for not one, but two days. On the second day, it became customary since the Middle Ages to celebrate the rejoicing of the Torah. That day became known as Simchat Torah, rejoicing the Torah. (In Israel, Simchat Torah and Shemini Atzeret are celebrated together on one day). Torah In Judaism, the Torah (the five books of Moses, the first five books of the Old Testament) is read in one year, each Shabbat having its own designated portion. Since ancient times, it has been customary to conclude the cycle of reading with the last chapters of Deuteronomy on Simchat Torah and to begin a new cycle (with the first five chapters of Genesis) on the Shabbat after Succoth. The Torah is always new and never finished. Therefore, Jews do not wait until the next Shabbat to start the reading of Genesis: the completion of Deuteronomy is followed immediately by the first verses of Genesis. What is Torah? Often, the word Torah is translated as ‘law’. But it may be better to understand it as instruction, or teaching. God teaches the way to live before Him. The Torah is God’s Word of life. And therefore, Israel rejoices in the Torah. Before reading the Torah, thanks is given to God who chose Israel, and “who gave us a Torah of truth and thus planted eternal life in us.” The children are blessed with a special blessing, for Jewish life is family life. Everything revolves around the children. Marriage So, too, Israel’s relation with the Torah is understood in terms of a covenant of marriage. The person who is honoured with the completion of the annual circle of reading is called the ‘Hattan Torah’, the groom of the Torah. The one who is called up for the reading of the beginning of Genesis is called the ‘Hattan Bereshit’, the groom of Bereshit. ‘Bereshit’ is translated as ‘in the beginning’, and is the first word of the Bible, after which the book of Genesis is called in Hebrew. During the service, the congregation takes out all the Torah scrolls, and marches around the synagogue, carrying the scrolls. Seven circuits are made with the Torah scrolls. At the completion of each circular procession (hakafa), songs and wordless melodies (niggunim) are sung, and people dance with the Torah. This is done both on the eve of Simchat Torah, and on the day itself. Yoke Why is there so much rejoicing in the Law? Judaism knows the concept of taking the yoke of Torah upon oneself (besides taking up the ‘yoke of the kingdom’, which involves the daily recitation of the Shema: “Hear, o Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one” Deuteronomy 6:4). A Jewish girl is considered religiously of age on the day after her 12th birthday. A Jewish boy becomes responsible for his religious duties on the day after his 13th birthday. Then he becomes a ‘bar-mitzvah’ – a ‘son of the commandment’. He takes upon himself the yoke of Torah. But that yoke is not a burden. If an ox pulled a wagon without a yoke, the rig would cut into the flesh, and the ox would collapse. The yoke enables the ox to pull the wagon without being hurt. A yoke makes it possible to carry a burden together. Jesus says: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29). He is pointing to the positive sides of the yoke. The Torah is not a heavy burden, under which one collapses. True, for the non-Jew, who would think he has to fulfil the commandments to be acceptable for God, it is. That is what Paul and the other apostles warn about (Acts 15:10; Galatians 5:1; 1 Timothy 6:1). For a Jew, who receives the Torah as God’s way of life, it is an easy yoke. For the Torah affirms and enriches life. Simchat Torah - The Joy of the Torah Mandy Worby n Christians for Israel Australia We began in our previous programme to look at what it means to walk in the dust of our Rabbi. We learned a little bit about how, without understanding of Jewish cultural context at the time of Jesus’ earthly life or the setting that the Bible was written in, we can easily put our own spin on what we read. For example, the masterpiece by Leonardo Da Vinci of the Last Supper was a Passover meal in reality but every single thing depicted in that painting is actually Biblically wr ong. If Da Vinci had understood or researched what a Passover meal was actually like, that painting would have been vastly different. We touched a little bit again on the difference between the Greek method of learning and the Hebrew or Jewish method of learning. The Greek primarily being that of a classroom where knowledge and information are imparted but the Hebrew method is very much that of a master and apprentice, a teacher and student learning side by side until a skill has been learned. We also touched very briefly on the difference between Jewish congregations and Gentile congregations in that Jews had a decent head start when it came to knowing and understanding what God’s standards or morals, ethics and behaviour was, but for Gentiles, it was very much a new concept. The Jewish church was much more ordered, thoughtful and disciplined when compared to the Gentile church in Corinth which was in an absolute mess. They had to learn the standards of God from scratch, but in order to do that they needed an example, a model they could imitate; and that model was the Apostle Paul. There was another difference between Jewish and Gentile believers...while Gentiles knew Jesus as their Saviour and God, Jewish believers also knew Him as their Rabbi. But what does that mean in practical terms? To follow your Rabbi meant you were obliged to memorise His words and live according to His Halakhah or His interpret ation of how God’s Word teaches us to live. This is really important because it demonstrates to us that we are not the ones who determine what the Scripture means, He is the One who teaches what His Word means. Remember, Jesus is the author of Scripture because He is the Word made flesh who lived among us. (John 1) People are always wanting to re-shape Jesus to fit their expectations. For example, a particular denomination ran a competition in the year 2000 called ‘Jesus 2000’ because they were searching for a new 'image' of Jesus for the next millennium. The prize-winning painting was called ‘ The Jesus of the People’ and it was of a dark-skinned, thick- lipped, slightly feminine looking man and nothing about Him was even slightly Jewish. If you study the Bible with other people, please be very careful about taking turns in sharing what you think a portion of Scripture means to you. Scripture means precisely what God intended it to mean when He revealed it. That means that we don’t get to say what the Bible means...we’re to study it so that we find out what it was originally intended to mean, and then we apply it to our own lives so we can live according to it. But what does it mean to be a disciple? Most of the church has been greatly influenced by the Greek mindset, which predominantly interprets Scripture spiritually or philosophically and analytically. From these positions, you ca n make Scripture mean anything you want. The Hebrew mindset is predominantly physical, practical and literal. That means interpretations of the Bible can be poles apart sometimes. We predominantly look at spiritual applications of Scripture while the Jew would look at how to live out what the Scripture says practically. So, to be a disciple according to the Hebrew mind, is to practically and physically imitate your Rabbi, to obey Him in all things and even take on his persona and mannerisms. A Greek mindset in the area of learning is to sit in a classroom and absorb knowledge, and at the end of a period of learning, a test is given, you are marked on how much information or knowledge you’ve remembered, and then you get your score. A Hebrew mindset is one of a teacher and his disciple, his apprentice; the teacher gives the lesson, he provides a demonstration of what he does and then the disciple, the apprentice tries to duplicate his teacher. He keeps doing it until he gets it right. At the end, he knows he has a skill that he can replicate and teach to others. This Hebrew mindset – which is very practical and literal - is what it means to ‘Walk in the Dust of your Rabbi. ’ Part 3 will be published in the December Israel & Christians Today. These studies are based on the book ‘Walking In The Dust Of Rabbi Jesus: How The Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life’ by Lois Tverberg. www.ourrabbijesus.com Walking in the Dust of Our Rabbi - Part 2 | Photo: unsplash October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780

28. 28 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 2 3 Our Projects 16 October 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Kislev 5780 ‘Among them will be the Blind’ Carmen Ullersma n Aliyah Fieldworker Ukraine We met Alexander and Valentina Fuhrman through the Rabbi of Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine. The rabbi told us that Alexander and Valentina had fled Donetsk and rented a small room close to the synagogue. Every day Alexander faithfully came to the synagogue for prayer before the couple left for Israel. In August, Alexander and Valentina went to Haifa, where their daughter lives. Alina (another Aliyah fieldworker) and I visited the couple in Mariupol before they made Aliyah. They lived in a small, dilapidated room. The sparse furnishings were not their own, but belonged to the landlord. History of Mother Nina Alexander was born in December 1952 in Donetsk, the city that now lies in the separatist area. Alexander never knew his father and did not know where he was. His mother Nina was a Jewish woman. She was 14 years old when the war began. During the war, Nina and her whole family were loaded into trucks. They were taken from Donetsk to be killed in another place. Nina managed to jump out of the truck. Eventually she ended up in a village where local people hid her. After the war she discovered that her whole family had been killed. She was the only survivor. Alexander was two years old when his mother remarried. His mother started working as a tram driver. Because she had to work and had no family to help, she could not take care of Alexander. She took him to a boarding school, but every weekend she picked him up. Alexander has good memories of his mother and stepfather. Nina passed away two years ago. Close to our Children Alexander became visually handicapped because of an accident and also arthritis. He is practically blind and can only see silhouettes. Alexander and Valentina have two daughters. One daughter lives in Belarus, the other in Haifa, Israel. To be with the children, Alexander and Valentina decided to go to Israel as well. This process happens often in Ukraine: first the children go, and then the parents follow. Their daughter invited them to come and live with her in Haifa for the first period. She is an accountant and is busy learning Hebrew. She is delighted with her life in Israel. The other daughter is now also considering going to Israel. It costs AUD $300 to help a Jewish from Ukraine to Israel. Any amount is welcome; please fill out the coupon to participate in this fulfilment of Biblical prophecy. Valentina and Alexander Fuhrman See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labour; a great throng will return. Jeremiah 31:8 PLEASE COMPLETE FORM & RETURN TO: Christians for Israel Australia, PO Box 1508, Springwood, QLD 4127 or you can donate securely online www.c4israel.com.au/donate Yes, I would like to make a donation towards... 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Yochanan Visser n Christians for Israel Correspondent in Israel The second Israeli parliamentary elections within six months yielded no clear winner. President Rivlin has mandated PM Netanyahu - who is facing possible indictment - to try to form a coalition. The potential kingmaker is Avigdor Lieberman. Israel is heading into unchartered political waters. In the elections on 17 September, the Blue and White Party of Benny Gantz, Moshe ‘Bogie’ Ya’alon and Yair Lapid won 33 seats - a loss of 2 compared to April, but two seats more than the Likud Party of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Likud Party of Netanyahu, the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israel’s history, gained only 32 seats, a loss of three seats compared to the April election. The President has the power to appoint one of the elected 120 Members of Knesset (MKs) as the next potential prime minister of Israel. The designated premier must then attempt to form a coalition that has the confidence of a majority of Knesset members. If that cannot be achieved within the timeframe set down by law, new elections will be required. The left-wing bloc of parties to which Blue and White belong includes the Democratic Union, which only won five seats, and the Labor Party, which formed a union with the Gesher party prior to the elections. The Gesher- Labor merger won only six seats a historic low for the party that ruled Israel for decades since the founding of the state. In total, the centre-left block won only 43 of the 120 seats in the new Knesset and is not even able to form a majority government with the help of the joint Arab list which won 13 seats. On the other hand, the right-wing bloc led by Likud won a disappointing 55 seats, insufficient to form a majority government. This group comprises Likud: the Sephardic Orthodox party Shas with nine seats; the United Torah Judaism, an Ashkenazi ultra-orthodox party with eight seats, and Yamina, a national religious party with seven seats. Yisrael Beiteinu became the biggest winner of the elections with nine mandates, a gain of four compared to April. The party of the Russian-speaking Avigdor Lieberman quit Netanyahu’s government in November 2018 because of a disagreement about a law that sought to impose mandatory military conscription for ultra- orthodox Yeshiva students. The difficult personal relationship between Netanyahu and Lieberman also played a role in the background. Lieberman supports a national unity government of secular parties consisting of Likud, Blue and White and Yisrael Beiteinu but so far has refused to endorse either Gantz or Netanyahu. On 24 September, President Reuven Rivlin formally gave Netanyahu four weeks to form the government, after meetings at the President’s R esidence with Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to try to agree on a unity government failed to bring about a breakthrough. Continued on page 3 AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au 4 Boris’ Pro-Israel Cabinet Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL October 2019 Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 7 Italians Visit Ukraine 8 Rwanda Learns About Israel 15 Belaya Tserkov Memorial President Reuven Rivlin met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz at the President Residence in Jerusalem on 23 September 2019. | Photo: Flash90 Who Will Govern Israel? Yochanan Visser n Christians for Israel Correspondent in Israel The second Israeli parliamentary elections within six months yielded no clear winner. President Rivlin has mandated PM Netanyahu - who is facing possible indictment - to try to form a coalition. The potential kingmaker is Avigdor Lieberman. Israel is heading into unchartered political waters. In the elections on 17 September, the Blue and White Party of Benny Gantz, Moshe ‘Bogie’ Ya’alon and Yair Lapid won 33 seats - a loss of 2 compared to April, but two seats more than the Likud Party of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Likud Party of Netanyahu, the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israel’s history, gained only 32 seats, a loss of three seats compared to the April election. The President has the power to appoint one of the elected 120 Members of Knesset (MKs) as the next potential prime minister of Israel. The designated premier must then attempt to form a coalition that has the confidence of a majority of Knesset members. If that cannot be achieved within the timeframe set down by law, new elections will be required. The left-wing bloc of parties to which Blue and White belong includes the Democratic Union, which only won five seats, and the Labor Party, which formed a union with the Gesher party prior to the elections. The Gesher- Labor merger won only six seats a historic low for the party that ruled Israel for decades since the founding of the state. In total, the centre-left block won only 43 of the 120 seats in the new Knesset and is not even able to form a majority government with the help of the joint Arab list which won 13 seats. On the other hand, the right-wing bloc led by Likud won a disappointing 55 seats, insufficient to form a majority government. This group comprises Likud: the Sephardic Orthodox party Shas with nine seats; the United Torah Judaism, an Ashkenazi ultra-orthodox party with eight seats, and Yamina, a national religious party with seven seats. Yisrael Beiteinu became the biggest winner of the elections with nine mandates, a gain of four compared to April. The party of the Russian-speaking Avigdor Lieberman quit Netanyahu’s government in November 2018 because of a disagreement about a law that sought to impose mandatory military conscription for ultra- orthodox Yeshiva students. The difficult personal relationship between Netanyahu and Lieberman also played a role in the background. Lieberman supports a national unity government of secular parties consisting of Likud, Blue and White and Yisrael Beiteinu but so far has refused to endorse either Gantz or Netanyahu. On 24 September, President Reuven Rivlin formally gave Netanyahu four weeks to form the government, after meetings at the President’s R esidence with Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to try to agree on a unity government failed to bring about a breakthrough. Continued on page 3 AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au 4 Boris’ Pro-Israel Cabinet Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL October 2019 Tishrei - Cheshvan 5780 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 7 Italians Visit Ukraine 8 Rwanda Learns About Israel 15 Belaya Tserkov Memorial President Reuven Rivlin met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz at the President Residence in Jerusalem on 23 September 2019. | Photo: Flash90 Who Will Govern Israel? Yochanan Visser n Christians for Israel Correspondent in Israel The second Israeli parliamentary elections within six months yielded no clear winner. President Rivlin has mandated PM Netanyahu - who is facing possible indictment - to try to form a coalition. The potential kingmaker is Avigdor Lieberman. Israel is heading into unchartered political waters. In the elections on 17 September, the Blue and White Party of Benny Gantz, Moshe ‘Bogie’ Ya’alon and Yair Lapid won 33 seats - a loss of 2 compared to April, but two seats more than the Likud Party of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Likud Party of Netanyahu, the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israel’s history, gained only 32 seats, a loss of three seats compared to the April election. The President has the power to appoint one of the elected 120 Members of Knesset (MKs) as the next potential prime minister of Israel. The designated premier must then attempt to form a coalition that has the confidence of a majority of Knesset members. If that cannot be achieved within the timeframe set down by law, new elections will be required. The left-wing bloc of parties to which Blue and White belong includes the Democratic Union, which only won five seats, and the Labor Party, which formed a union with the Gesher party prior to the elections. The Gesher- Labor merger won only six seats a historic low for the party that ruled Israel for decades since the founding of the state. In total, the centre-left block won only 43 of the 120 seats in the new Knesset and is not even able to form a majority government with the help of the joint Arab list which won 13 seats. On the other hand, the right-wing bloc led by Likud won a disappointing 55 seats, insufficient to form a majority government. This group comprises Likud: the Sephardic Orthodox party Shas with nine seats; the United Torah Judaism, an Ashkenazi ultra-orthodox party with eight seats, and Yamina, a national religious party with seven seats. Yisrael Beiteinu became the biggest winner of the elections with nine mandates, a gain of four compared to April. The party of the Russian-speaking Avigdor Lieberman quit Netanyahu’s government in November 2018 because of a disagreement about a law that sought to impose mandatory military conscription for ultra- orthodox Yeshiva students. The difficult personal relationship between Netanyahu and Lieberman also played a role in the background. Lieberman supports a national unity government of secular parties consisting of Likud, Blue and White and Yisrael Beiteinu but so far has refused to endorse either Gantz or Netanyahu. On 24 September, President Reuven Rivlin formally gave Netanyahu four weeks to form the government, after meetings at the President’s R esidence with Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to try to agree on a unity government failed to bring about a breakthrough. Continued on page 3 AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au NEW! NEW! NEW! Please post cheque or money order to: Christians for Israel Australia Inc (don’t use staples) NEW INTERNET BANKING DETAILS: BSB: ANZ BANK – 014 279 Account No: 405318543 Ref: Your name & donation purpose. Please confirm be emailing info@c4israel.com.au MY DETAILS Name: _________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________ P hone: _________________ E mail: __________________ Christians for Israel Australia ABN: 79 941 819 693 *NOTE: Certificates for individuals and families from the Ukraine only. $35 each 2 for $60 4 for $100 $25 each 2 for $40 4 $___________ CFOIC Heartland

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